Ceapro Provides Business Update on Progress of Ongoing Development Programs, Technology and Cosmeceutical Base Business

EDMONTON, Alberta, Feb. 23, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ceapro Inc. (TSX-V: CZO; OTCQX: CRPOF) (“Ceapro” or the “Company”), today provided an update on its progress across its current business.

On December 14, 2023, the Company announced it entered into a definitive agreement to combine operations with Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (“Aeterna Zentaris”), a TSX and Nasdaq listed specialty biopharmaceutical company, in an all-stock merger of equals transaction to be effected by way of a plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act (the “Arrangement”). The Arrangement is subject to various conditions, including the approval of the Company’s shareholders and optionholders (collectively, the “Securityholders”) at the special meeting of Securityholders scheduled for March 12, 2024 (the “Meeting”). In addition to the proposed Arrangement, the Company continues to execute on progress across its ongoing development projects, as detailed below.

“We continue to make promising progress across all areas of our business. Given the recent developments, we anticipate that all key success factors will align to expand our business model. Through the planned merger with Aeterna Zentaris, we aim to become a combined company with high potential for value creation in the biopharmaceutical industry. We look forward to an exciting future ahead for the Company and generating value in the short and long term for all stakeholders,” stated Gilles Gagnon, M.Sc., MBA, President and CEO.

Pipeline Development

Ceapro’s focus is on avenanthramides, beta glucan from oat and yeast and new chemical complexes/delivery systems.

  • Avenanthramides (Avs):
    • Phase 1-2a clinical trial being conducted at the Montreal Health Institute: Following the successful completion of bioassays for measurement of Avs in human tissues, the trial is maintaining rapid progress forward. Since December 9, 2023, three cohorts of eight healthy subjects have already been completed with ascending doses from 30mg to 60mg and 120mg. No significant adverse events have occurred with the first two doses and members of the Data Safety Monitoring Board will complete the full analysis of results from the 120mg cohort during the first week of March, being able to declare whether the trial may be pursued as planned and to give a green light for the next dosage of 240mg. These results are very promising given that the higher the dose without safety concerns, the larger the potential for extending to various inflammation-based diseases.
  • Oat beta glucan powder (OBG):
    • Samples of powder formulation have been successfully prepared and shipped to Symrise AG, Ceapro’s long-term partner, for liquid reformulation and assessment for the Chinese market.
  • Yeast beta glucan (YBG):
    • Specifications have been standardized and the product is ready to be used for the PGX scale up projects in Edmonton and Austria. Depending on the successful scale up of PGX technology and approval from health authorities, this product could be offered as an immune booster before year end 2024.
  • Enriched Oat Flour with High Concentration of Avenanthramides:
    • The first batch has been successfully produced. Samples have been sent to one major customer.
    • The Company is assessing the potential of this product for preventive antimicrobial properties when used to produce oat based nutritional products.

New Product Development

  • Chewable Oat Beta Glucan (OBG):
    • Ceapro’s team has successfully developed a unique, standardized formulation for a healthy confection which includes a high concentration of OBG with daily dosage according to approved claims in 10 developed countries.
    • Health Canada has approved Ceapro’s Novel Nutraceutical Product (NPN 80127493). The substantive claims derived from this approval include reduction of LDL cholesterol, supporting cardiovascular health reduction of Type 2 diabetes risks, source of fiber for the maintenance of general good health and support of a healthy digestive system.
    • Ceapro’s team anticipates the official commercial launch of its approved natural health product in H2, 2024, marking an important chapter in the Company's journey toward promoting wellness while expanding its business model. According to Future Market Insights, the oat beta-glucan market is expected to reach US$ 846.1 Million in 2032.
  • Whey Proteins:
    • Using its PGX Technology, Ceapro and University of Alberta researchers successfully processed in one economical step a very complex mixture containing animal-based proteins, and in particular whey proteins that are typically found in liquid that remains after cheese production. While these proteins are widely used in sport drinks, baked goods, meal replacements, protein supplements and infant formulas due to their recognized nutritional and functional properties, current commercial purification processes require many steps and considerable amounts of water. PGX Technology can be a very efficient and economical alternative for this product offering.
    • Results from this ground-breaking study were published in the Journal of Food Engineering in an article titled Single-step concentration of whey proteins using the pressurized gas eXpanded (PGX) liquid technology: Effect on physicochemical properties and scale-up,”. They have also been submitted for a presentation at the 20th European meeting on supercritical fluids in Maribor, Slovenia, May 26-29, 2024.


  • Pressurized Gas eXpanded Technology (“PGX Technology”)
    • Edmonton Main Facility PGX Scale Up 50 Liters Vessel: The project remains on schedule. The mechanical part of the project is 100% completed and control systems are 80% completed. Pending receipt of remaining automation components, commissioning expected to be completed by end of Q1 2024.
    • Natex Facility, Austria PGX Scale Up 100 Liters Vessel: The project remains on schedule. PGX pressure vessel design is 100% completed. Initial safety and regulatory risk assessment has also been completed. Commissioning is expected to be completed by end of Q3 2024.

Cosmeceutical Base Business

  • From a business perspective, while 2023 was a challenging year due to a reorganization from one major customer in USA, we are pleased to announce that this customer has resumed ordering from Ceapro during Q1, 2024 with a +20metric ton order of avenanthramides.

To stay up to date with the Company’s progress, visit Ceapro’s website at www.ceapro.com and connect on Facebook, X, and LinkedIn.

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

Forward-looking information

The information in this news release has been prepared as at February 22, 2024. Certain statements made herein, including statements relating to matters that are not historical facts and statements of the Company’s beliefs, intentions and expectations about developments, results and events which will or may occur in the future, constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information relates to future events or future performance, reflect current expectations or beliefs regarding future events and is typically identified by words such as “aim”, “anticipate”, “assume”, “believe”, “continue”, “could”, “expect”, “forecast”, “future”, “intend”, “maintain”, “may”, “outlook”, “plan”, “potential”, “project”, “synergies”, “will”, and similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the Arrangement, including the expected timing and outcome of the Meeting, closing and various other steps to be completed in connection with the Arrangement, and other statements that are not historical facts, including the Company’s ability to obtain regulatory approvals, including those from health authorities, and to develop, introduce, and implement new products as well as enhancements for existing products that meet customer needs and product requirements in a timely manner.

Forward-looking information is based upon certain assumptions and other important factors that, if untrue, could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or the combined company to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such information. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate. Such information is based on numerous assumptions, including assumptions regarding the ability to complete the Arrangement on the contemplated terms or at all; that the conditions precedent to closing of the Arrangement can be satisfied, including the timely receipt of all necessary court, regulatory, third-party and Securityholder approvals; present and future business strategies; operations performance within expected ranges; market and industry expectations; successful and timely product launches; and the ability to protect the Company’s intellectual property.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information, which speak only as of the date made. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors that may affect Ceapro’s ability to achieve the expectations set forth in the forward-looking information contained in this news release, see Ceapro’s management information circular dated February 9, 2024, MD&A filed under Ceapro’s profile on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.ca, as well as Ceapro’s other filings with the Canadian securities regulators. Other than as required by law, the Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation to, update the forward-looking information in this news release.

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 

Gilles R. Gagnon, M.Sc., MBA
President & CEO
T: 780-421-4555

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release

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Source: Ceapro Inc.