Grow Opportunity

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Willow Biosciences receives funding for varin cannabinoid research

September 9, 2020  By Grow Opportunity staff

Willow Biosciences Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Willow Analytics, has received conditional funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).

The funding will support the biotech company’s ongoing research developing the varins series of cannabinoids, including cannabigerovarin (CBGV), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).

“We welcome the advice and funding from NRC IRAP to support our rare cannabinoid development platform,” said Dr. Mathias Schuetz, Willow’s Vice-President of Research & Development. “This support is an important catalyst for us to advance our strain development capabilities and will enable us to progress from lab-scale work to pre-commercialization scale up.”

CBGV, CBDV and THCV are rare cannabinoids that occur naturally in cannabis at less than one per cent of biomass, making it costly to produce. However, there are clinical trials that suggest therapeutic benefits of these varin cannabinoids, including uses for autism, diabetes and as an appetite suppressant.


Willow president and CEO, Trevor Peters, said in a press release Sept. 8 that the company hopes to be the first to biosynthetically produce material amounts of cannabinoids.

“By using the platform technology that has allowed us to advance our CBG program ahead of schedule, we are able to expand our portfolio and pursue fermentation-based production of additional cannabinoids,” said Peters in a statement. “We have made strong progress with our varins development to date and expect the varins program to reach scale-up phase in the first half of 2021 and market-ready levels in the second half of 2021.”

Willow Biosciences is a Canadian biotechnology company based in Vancouver, B.C. It focuses on the production of cannabinoids for health and wellness treatment.

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