Ceapro Inc. Enters into Technical Collaboration with NATEX Prozesstechnologie GmbH and Provides Update on the Scale-Up Project for its Patented Pressurized Gas eXpanded (PGX) Technology

  • PGX processing unit with a 10X (100 L) vessel capacity to be installed and tested at NATEX pilot testing facility in Austria
  • Yeast beta glucan (YBG) to be the first bio active to be processed at this location

EDMONTON, Alberta, Nov. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ceapro Inc. (TSX-V: CZO; OTCQX: CRPOF) (“Ceapro” or the “Company”), a growth-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of active ingredients and disruptive technologies for healthcare and cosmetic industries, announced today the signing of a technical collaboration with Austria-based NATEX Prozesstechnologie GmbH to accelerate the scale-up of its proprietary PGX Technology towards commercial level. The combination of Ceapro’s natural ingredient processing expertise along with NATEX’ deep knowledge of commercial high-pressure extraction equipment is providing a clear path to sustainable, large-scale production of PGX materials.

The signing of this agreement results from Ceapro’s ongoing efforts to reduce time to market for PGX-processed materials. The sequential scale up path originally announced (from 10L to 50L and then 100L) has been revised to take place concurrently. Ceapro’s ability to finalize specifications and test methods for high purity YBG has enabled PGX plant design to move forward with substantially fewer variables and less risk. Leveraging the fully defined YBG standard, a 50L plant is being installed and tested at Ceapro’s existing facility in Edmonton instead of the University of Alberta. Pilot production at Ceapro’s Edmonton facility is also taking advantage of the existing manufacturing site license for natural health products. Space at the University is being retained for other upcoming opportunities under discussion.

All ongoing advancements, along with NATEX’ capability as a global leader in design, construction, and commissioning of high-pressure supercritical CO2 processing plants, is enabling the design and construction of the 100L plant in parallel with the 50L plant. 100L design and construction are underway at NATEX pilot testing facilities in Austria. The Austrian facility was selected since many components are already in place for supporting the PGX process. Furthermore, equipment purchased by Ceapro from a German facility prior to the pandemic has also been refurbished and is ready to be integrated into the 100L plant in Austria. NATEX are experts at design and construction of full-scale commercial plants based on the 100L scale. Successful results from these projects are to pave the way for commercialization of YBG as an immune booster and as a basis for the construction of a large commercial scale unit in Canada.

As mentioned in the press release on August 29, 2023, the 50L plant should be installed by year-end and commissioned during the first quarter of 2024 while the 100L should be completed during the third quarter of 2024.

PGX has the potential to transform drug and bioactive delivery and, ultimately, enable the creation of first-in-class nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. This presents many business growth opportunities for both Ceapro and NATEX as the deployment of several commercial plants is envisioned with each new product.

“The Ceapro team is dedicated to following a focused timeline for scaling up PGX to a point where commercial plants can be fully defined in terms of engineering, construction costs and timelines. This collaboration with NATEX has added the needed experience, expertise, and resources to bring these projects to fruition as quickly as possible,” said Michel Regnier, P. Eng., Senior Vice-President, Technical Operations at Ceapro.

“Collaboration with Ceapro on the PGX project is very much in line with our expertise and our mission to introduce new industrial supercritical fluid technologies for innovative products and processes for future society. Completion of the 100L scale-up in our Process and Product Development Center brings everything close at hand, gives us the opportunity to ensure the robustness for scale-up and keeps timelines as short as possible. We estimate that we already have 50% of the required infrastructure and equipment to secure this project,” added Ing. Franz Seitinger M.A., Managing Director at NATEX.

“We are very pleased with this revised plan for the PGX Technology which is key to the Company’s future given its potential for the creation of first-in-class nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals under various formulations. The signing of partnerships for further development and commercialization of PGX-processed innovative products are directly related to the timely development of this technology at large scale. We look forward to a win-win completion of this project along with the NATEX experts,” concluded Mr. Gilles Gagnon, M.Sc., MBA, President and CEO.

About Pressurized Gas eXpanded Liquid Technology (PGX) 
Ceapro’s patented Pressurized Gas eXpanded (PGX) Technology is a unique and disruptive supercritical fluid technology with several key advantages over conventional drying and purification technologies that can be used to process biopolymers into high-value, fine-structured, open-porous polymer structures and novel biocomposites. PGX Technology is ideally suited for processing challenging high-molecular-weight, water-soluble biopolymers. It has the ability to make ultra-light, highly porous polymer structures on a continuous basis, which is not possible using today's conventional technologies. PGX Technology was invented by Dr. Feral Temelli from the Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science of the University of Alberta (U of A) along with Dr. Bernhard Seifried, now Senior Director of Research and Technology at Ceapro. The license from U of A provides Ceapro with exclusive worldwide rights in all industrial applications. 

About NATEX Prozesstechnologie GesmbH
High pressure CO2 technology has several technical and environmental advantages, and the products have health benefits compared to conventional organic solvent processes. NATEX believes these advantages should be utilized in as many industrial applications as possible. Since 1993, NATEX has focused all resources and know-how on the development and research of Supercritical Fluid Extraction Technology. Key industrial scale projects for new applications include the first industrial CO2 decaffeination plant with continuous recovery of caffeine, the first rice extraction plant and the first industrial cork cleaning plant, among others. NATEX is also the global leader in scaling up existing processes which has been proven by the worlds biggest pharmaceutical extraction plant, the worlds biggest hops extraction plant and the industrialization of wood impregnation. For more information, visit www.natex.at

About Ceapro Inc. 
Ceapro Inc. is a Canadian biotechnology company involved in the development of proprietary extraction technology and the application of this technology to the production of extracts and “active ingredients” from oats and other renewable plant resources. Ceapro adds further value to its extracts by supporting their use in cosmeceutical, nutraceutical, and therapeutics products for humans and animals. The Company has a broad range of expertise in natural product chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology and process engineering. These skills merge in the fields of active ingredients, biopharmaceuticals and drug-delivery solutions. For more information on Ceapro, please visit the Company’s website at www.ceapro.com

For more information contact: 
Jenene Thomas 
JTC Team, LLC 
Investor Relations and Corporate Communications Advisor 
T (US): +1 (833) 475-8247 
E: czo@jtcir.com 

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Source: Ceapro Inc.