22nd Century Group (XXII) Secures Exclusive Agreement with CannaMetrix to Accelerate Commercialization of New, Disruptive Hemp/Cannabis Plant Lines and Intellectual Property

March 3, 2021 9:05 AM EST

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22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE American: XXII), a leading plant-based, biotechnology company that is focused on tobacco harm reduction, very low nicotine content tobacco, and hemp/cannabis research, announced today that it has secured an exclusive agreement with CannaMetrix, LLC for the use of their proprietary, human cell-based testing CannaMetrix EC50Array™ technology that will enable 22nd Century to accelerate the commercialization of new, disruptive hemp/cannabis plant lines and intellectual property.

Since reporting third quarter earnings, 22nd Century has refocused its hemp/cannabis strategy to target the upstream segments of the cannabinoid value chain. In particular, the Company seeks to accelerate the delivery of valuable, commercial-scale plant lines and intellectual property for the life science, consumer product, and pharmaceutical end-use markets. With the addition of CannaMetrix, 22nd Century has now secured four out of the five key partnerships needed to maximize each component in the upstream segment of the cannabinoid value chain: plant profiling (CannaMetrix), plant biotechnology (KeyGene), plant cultivation (Panacea-Needle Rock Farm), and ingredient extraction/purification (Panacea). The Company is also in final discussions with top-tier, plant breeders that will be announced soon.

“22nd Century is extremely excited to add CannaMetrix into our secured network of value chain partners to increase the speed at which we develop and offer disruptive plant lines and intellectual property for the hemp/cannabis industry. For example, a plant line that would typically take ten years or longer to develop can now be achieved in two years,” said James A. Mish, chief executive officer of 22nd Century Group. “As we monetize our current IP portfolio starting in 2021, our upstream hemp/cannabis partnerships will enable us to rapidly offer additional disruptive, commercially valuable plant lines at large scale and increased, stable yields to very attractive hemp/cannabis end-use markets. We are excited and absolutely confident in the future innovation and value creation that will stem from these coordinated strategic partnerships.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with 22nd Century Group,” stated Harold Smith, Ph.D. founder, and chief executive officer of CannaMetrix. “They are the ideal partner, bringing decades-long experience in plant biotechnology with unmatched ability in developing valuable, commercial plant lines. We believe that through this exclusive partnership the development of new hemp/cannabis lines for large-scale cultivation and production will advance at a rapid pace and transform the hemp/cannabis industry.”

CannaMetrix’s proprietary CannaMetrix EC50Array™ technology serves as a high-throughput roadmap for developing new hemp/cannabis plant lines with tailor-made cannabinoid and terpenoid profiles for use in the life science, consumer product, and pharmaceutical markets. The human cell-based assay has the ability to measure and validate the potency and efficacy of cannabinoids and/or terpenoids through defined biomarkers and receptor activity, and can rapidly identify optimum plant profiles by measuring the potency and effect on the human cell system.

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