Kalsec campus in Kalamazoo

Rapid success of first collaboration leads to partnership on high-value specialty ingredient enzyme development expected to enable commercial-scale production in 2024

Kalamazoo, Michigan and Mountain View, California – May 23, 2023 – Willow Biosciences Inc. ("Willow") (TSX: WLLW) (OTCQB: CANSF), a leading biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing industrial manufacturing of pure, consistent and sustainable functional ingredients and Kalsec® Inc. ("Kalsec"), a leading global producer of natural taste and sensory, food protection, colors and advanced hops ingredients for the food and beverage industry, announce entry into a follow-on Master Services Agreement (the "MSA") to develop an enzyme used in biocatalytic production of a new, advanced ingredient used in natural beverage applications. This marks the second collaborative development program the two parties have engaged on following the announcement of an MSA on November 8, 2022 for which Willow has already successfully achieved development goals in short order.

"We are pleased to have executed this follow-on engagement with Kalsec and I’m proud of our R&D team’s success in collaborating with Kalsec to rapidly attain our joint development goals," said Dr. Chris Savile, Willow's President & CEO. "We look forward to further evidencing our technological capabilities through what we believe will be a similarly successful outcome for this next program."

Willow's FutureGrownTM technology platform is a fully integrated, proven solution for rapid enzyme and strain engineering, process development and scaled-up manufacturing that incorporates the latest technologies available for precision fermentation. Kalsec's projects focus on yeast, which, among other applications, is an ideal host for production of numerous ingredients for the food and beverage sector. By working closely with their customers, the development team at Kalsec has identified multiple potential opportunities for collaboration and innovation in this space.

"We are excited to expand our partnership with Willow and leverage each party’s significant domain expertise toward what we believe will be successful commercial-scale production in 2024,” says Dr. Roger Nahas, Executive Vice President of Global R&D and Chief Innovation Officer.  “This work also supports Kalsec’s purpose of unlocking the potential of people, nature and science to nurture the world.”

About Kalsec Inc.

Kalsec® Inc provides innovative taste and sensory, natural food protection, natural colors and advanced hops solutions to the food and beverage industries. We capture the best nature has to offer and utilize over 60 years of experience and industry leading innovation to make food and beverage products look better, taste better and last longer. Family owned and headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan since 1958, Kalsec has regional offices, laboratories and sales teams in North America, Europe, and Asia. As a certified B Corp, Kalsec makes ethical and sustainable decisions that serve our customers, employees, communities, and the environment. We are proud to be using our business as a force for good.

About Willow Biosciences Inc.

Willow develops and produces precision fermented functional ingredients for the health and wellness, food and beverage and personal care markets. Willow's FutureGrownTM biotechnology platform allows large-scale production with sustainability at its core. Willow's R&D team has a proven track record of developing and commercializing bio-based manufacturing processes and products to benefit our B2B partners and their customers. For more information, visit www.willowbio.com

FutureGrown™ is a registered trademark of Willow Biosciences Inc. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective holders.

For further information, please contact: 

Kalsec Inc. Media Contact
Mark Staples
Executive Director of Global Marketing

Willow Biosciences Inc. Media Contact
Travis Doupe
Chief Financial Officer

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may include forward-looking statements including opinions, assumptions, estimates and assessments of Willow and Kalsec of future plans and operations, and, more particularly, statements concerning: the MSA and the success of the second collaborative development program; the ability of Willow to accommodate new programs and to expand R&D capabilities with new partners and customers, including pursuant to Willow's FutureGrownTM biotechnology platform; and the business plans of Willow and Kalsec, generally. When used in this news release, the words "will," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intent," "may," "project," "should," and similar expressions are intended to be among the statements that identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are founded on the basis of expectations and assumptions made by Willow and Kalsec which include, but are not limited to: the success of strategic partnerships and customer relationships, including the development of future strategic partnerships and customer relationships; the financial strength of Willow and Kalsec; the market for Willow's products; the ability of Willow to obtain and retain applicable licences; the ability of Willow to obtain suitable manufacturing partners and other strategic relationships; and the successful implementation of Willow's commercialization and production strategy, generally. Forward-looking statements are subject to a wide range of risks and uncertainties, and although Willow and Kalsec believe that the expectations represented by such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will be realized. Any number of important factors could cause actual results biotechnology industry in general; the success of Willow's research and development strategies; infringement on intellectual property; failure to benefit from partnerships or successfully integrate acquisitions; actions and initiatives of federal and provincial governments and changes to government policies and the execution and impact of these actions, initiatives and policies; competition from other industry participants; adverse U.S., Canadian and global economic conditions; adverse global events and public-health crises; failure to comply with certain regulations; departure of key management personnel or inability to attract and retain talent; and other factors more fully described from time to time in the reports and filings made by Willow with securities regulatory authorities. Please refer to Willow's most recent annual information form and management's discussion and analysis for additional risk factors relating to Willow, which can be accessed either on Willow's website at www.willowbio.com or under Willow's profile on www.sedar.com.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and neither Willow nor Kalsec undertakes any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law. The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.