PharmaCielo Ltd. (“PharmaCielo” or the “Company”), the Canadian parent of Colombia’s premier cultivator and producer of medicinal-grade cannabis oil (PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings S.A.S.), today provided a corporate progress update in preparation for its public listing on the TSXV under the ticker PCLO (TSXV:PCLO), on or about January 18, 2019.
In preparation for PharmaCielo’s transition to commercial-scale production and sale of cannabis oil extracts and concentrates in 2019, the Company has made some key appointments to its management team and board of directors (the “Board”):
- With scalable cultivation and processing infrastructure in place and the Company’s public listing achieved, Anthony Wile has stepped down as interim chief executive officer and from the Board as a director, returning to his role as chief executive officer of Grupo Jaque Ltd., a private equity and investment company based in Medellín. Mr. Wile will continue to work with the Company, serving as a special consultant, with efforts focused on actively supporting the long-term global strategy and expanding international opportunities;
- David Attard has been appointed chief executive officer;
- Dr. Delon Human has been appointed global head, health and innovation; and
- Doug Bache has been appointed to the Board, and will serve as chair of the Audit Committee.
“When Federico Cock-Correa and I founded PharmaCielo several years ago, we envisioned an organization that could leverage Colombia’s natural advantages to become a leading global supplier of cannabis products, driving long-term value for shareholders and equally benefitting end users as well as the people of Colombia as a whole,” said Anthony Wile, outgoing CEO. “Earlier this year, I accepted the interim role of CEO to meet the needs of the business during the public listing process as well as to provide leadership in expanding international initiatives as the Company advanced its cultivation and processing capabilities. Over the next several years, PharmaCielo will become a value-added partner and supplier of cannabinoid inputs to global end-product companies. David Attard has a proven track record of scaling profitable operations across multiple markets and distribution channels. I am confident that David and the team are well-positioned to generate profitable growth for shareholders as I return to my role as CEO of Grupo Jaque Ltd. and continue my contribution to the development of PharmaCielo as advisor.”
|1 January 2019|
David Attard, CEO of PharmaCielo, added, “Under Anthony’s leadership, PharmaCielo has constructed a platform with the sophistication and scale to become a value-added cannabinoid provider to some of the world’s largest organizations. Global consumer-facing companies are accustomed to supply chain partners that can provide inputs of a consistently high quality, in large volume. PharmaCielo is positioned to meet this need, as well as to work with these customers to evolve and customize those cannabinoid inputs over time to meet specific product design requirements. We are on strong footing as we launch scale production and sales in 2019. The Company is already producing the highest quality of medicinal-grade cannabis oil, is well capitalized, has near-term revenue opportunities and is engaged in advanced discussions to enter target international jurisdictions.”
One of Mr. Attard’s first initiatives was to appoint Dr. Delon Human as global head of health and innovation. “Delon has been a valuable member of our Board over the past three years, and brings a successful history of driving consumer product development and innovation along with healthcare policy at a global level with large organizations, including those in the pharmaceutical, consumer beverage and tobacco sectors. We expect to complete construction of our large-scale production and innovation facility in Q2-2019 where Delon and his team will expand the development of partnerships with global end-product suppliers, driving innovation and product development to meet the needs of these potential customers.”
Corporate Progress Update
During fiscal 2019, PharmaCielo will focus on:
- scaling the Company’s area under cultivation from 5.3 hectares of open-air greenhouse (~570,487 ft2) currently to approximately 20 hectares (~2.15 million ft2);
- completion of its 2,300 m2 (24,757 ft2) GMP certified Research and Technology Centre oil processing and product innovation facility;
- receipt of registration from the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture for multiple cannabis strains – confirming unrestricted ownership of unique plant genetics for mass cultivation and oil extraction;
- commencement of cannabis oil product sales in key markets for revenue generation;
- confirming agreements with Colombian distributors and end-product manufacturers, to bring consumer products to market;
- finalizing relationships with distributors and end-product manufacturers in select international jurisdictions, to bring products to market;
- receipt of ISO 9001 certification for quality management systems (QMS), confirming operational veracity without review for customers;
- opening of the Company’s first bannered Clínica co-located with Centro Oncológico de Antioquia (COA), part of an oncology practitioner network with complementary objectives focused on treatment of 5 million patients.
|2 GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Specifications for Pharmaceutical Preparations|
PharmaCielo currently has approximately 5.3 hectares of open-air greenhouse (~570,487 feet2) under active cultivation, and plans to steadily increase this area with a goal of cultivating approximately 20 hectares (~2.15 million feet2), by the end of 2019 to meet expected immediate demand. PharmaCielo has approximately 139 hectares (~15 million feet2)3 of total current cultivation capacity.
Construction of industrial cultivation facilities within or adjacent to indigenous communities will commence in partnership in 2019, as PharmaCielo confirms its leadership in fulfilling licensed producer regulatory obligations to source 10% of production from rural and indigenous communities.
GMP Oil Processing and Product Innovation Facility
PharmaCielo is currently producing both CBD- and THC-dominant cannabis oil extracts in a temporary facility on the site of its nursery and propagation centre for both commercial sale and product research as appropriate. The Company is constructing a 2,300-metre2 oil processing facility (the “Facility”), which provides excess capacity for near-term oil production, with additional space to accommodate modular increases in production capacity as demand for the Company’s products grows. The Facility is expected to be completed during Q2-2019 and to be operational during Q3-2019.
The Facility will also serve as PharmaCielo’s product innovation and development centre under the leadership of Dr. Delon Human. The Company is focused on becoming a value-added partner and supplier of cannabinoid inputs to global end-product companies. The Facility is expected to be a valuable tool as PharmaCielo works to evolve and customize cannabinoid inputs for existing and prospective customers.
The Company entered into a binding letter of intent to acquire UBIQUO, Colombia’s most important medical patient and e-clinic platform (the “Transaction”) in Q2-2018 and expects to close the Transaction in the early weeks of 2019. UBIQUO currently has 85,000 patients on its platform in its home base of Medellín, allowing practitioner and patient access to cannabinoid treatment options. The Company plans to add UBIQUO clinics in seven additional Colombian jurisdictions, which is expected to significantly grow UBIQUO’s patient base and to further extend practitioner access. PharmaCielo expects to have the first of its bannered Clínica open in Q2-2019, as outlined earlier. Each Clínica will maintain a pharmacy presence providing access for medical practitioners and patients to cannabinoid-based treatment options.
|3 15 million feet2 comprised of: 1.3 million-foot2 nursery & propagation centre (Company-owned); 0.4 million feet2 of open-air greenhouses owned by the Company with indigenous growers; and 13.3 million feet2 of open-air greenhouse capacity accessed through current contract growers.|
Business Development – Colombia
The Company is currently in advanced discussion with targeted product distributors possessing existing relationships with leading Colombian end-product wholesalers and retailers in appropriate health and wellness (and related) verticals. The Company expects to confirm at least one such relationship in 2019 in parallel to certified production facilities coming on-stream, with commencement of product distribution and revenues within 2019.
Business Development – International
The Company is currently finalizing contractual relationships with major partners in key target markets in both Europeand North/Central America, each of whom possesses strong in-market relationships and capacities appropriate to market needs. In these markets, relationship intent is based on effective market strategies of selling medicinal-grade cannabis extracts at scale, through established distributors directly to end-product manufacturers for market distribution. The Company expects to solidify at least two such relationships during 2019 with commencement of product distribution and revenues by Q1-2020.
About David Attard, CEO
A member of the board of directors of PharmaCielo Ltd. since 2015, Mr. Attard was most recently an officer and director of President’s Choice Service Inc. and officer of President’s Choice Bank.
As a vice president and member of the Executive Management Team at President’s Choice Financial, a subsidiary of Loblaw Companies Limited, Mr. Attard was responsible for overseeing corporate development and strategy, product development and digital commerce for President’s Choice Financial across all of its divisions.
With over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry at corporations like President’s Choice Financial, Citigroup, American Express and The Loyalty Group, Mr. Attard has a diverse business background in varying roles that range across strategy, planning, new venture startups, P&L management, corporate development, marketing, analytics, brand development and operations management. He was Citigroup’s 2005 Chairman’s Global Leadership Award recipient.
Mr. Attard holds a BBA and a BA from York University.
Dr. Delon Human, Global Head, Health and Innovation
Dr. Human, MBChB, MPraxMed, MFGP, DCH, MBA, a member of the board of directors of PharmaCielo Ltd. since 2016, is a published author, international lecturer and health care consultant specializing in global health strategy, corporate and product transformation, harm reduction and health communication, as president and founder of Health Diplomats plc.
He has acted as adviser to the WHO director-general and to secretary-general of the UN Ban Ki-moon. Until 2014 he served as secretary-general and special envoy to WHO / UN of the International Food and Beverage Alliance, a group of leading food and non-alcoholic beverage companies with a global presence.
From 1997 to 2005, Dr. Human served as secretary general of the World Medical Association (WMA), the global representative body for physicians. He was instrumental in establishment of the World Health Professions Alliance, an alliance of the global representative bodies of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and physical therapists. During 2006 he was elected to serve as the secretary-general of the African Medical Association (AfMA). He is a fellow of the Russian and Romanian Academies of Medical Sciences.
Dr. Human qualified as a physician in South Africa and completed his postgraduate studies in family medicine and child health in South Africa and Oxford, England. He was a clinician for two decades, part of the pediatric endocrinology research unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital and was involved in the establishment of several medical centers, a hospital and emergency clinic in South Africa. His business studies (MBA) were completed at the Edinburgh Business School.
Douglas H. Bache, Director, Audit Committee Chair
A finance professional with executive management and board experience in both publicly-traded and private companies, Mr. Bache has over 25 years of corporate finance, commodity & capital markets, business and corporate development experience in various industry sectors including mining, financial services and information technology.
Mr. Bache, during the past 12 years, has provided corporate finance and strategy consulting and management services to mining companies and previously he held senior management positions with Vale/Inco Limited and North American Palladium Ltd. During a 10-year career in investment and corporate banking with CIBC World Markets and Société Générale Canada, Mr. Bache managed client relationships, arranged debt and equity financings and provided M&A and risk management advisory services to mining and metals, oil & gas, manufacturing and financial service companies.
His diverse areas of expertise include, for example, M&A evaluation and execution, corporate finance and liability management, project evaluation/capital allocation, risk management policy/hedging, strategic and tactical planning, treasury and commodity trading, corporate structure and governance and budgeting and forecasting.
Mr. Bache holds a Bachelor of Mathematics – Business Administration degree from the University of Waterloo and has attended various Executive MBA programs offered by Queen’s University.
For further information:
PharmaCielo Ltd. is a global company privately held and headquartered in Canada, with a focus on processing and supplying all natural, medicinal-grade cannabis oil extracts and related products to large channel distributors. PharmaCielo’s principal (and wholly owned) subsidiary is PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings S.A.S., headquartered at its nursery and propagation centre located in Rionegro, Colombia.
The boards of directors and executive teams of both PharmaCielo and PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings are comprised of a diversely talented group of international business executives and specialists with relevant and varied expertise. PharmaCielo recognized the significant role that Colombia’s ideal location will play in building a sustainable business in the medical cannabis industry, and the company, together with its directors and executives, has built a compelling business plan focused on supplying the international marketplace.
Completion of the listing of PharmaCielo (the “Listing”) on the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSXV”) is subject to a number of conditions. There can be no assurance that the Listing will be completed as proposed, or at all.
Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the filing statement prepared in connection with the Listing, any information released or received with respect to the Listing may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon.
Neither the TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
Neither the TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider has in any way passed upon the merits of the Listing and associated transactions and neither of the foregoing entities has in any way approved or disapproved of the contents of this press release.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as, “expects”, “is expected”, “intends”, “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements include statements with respect the Listing, completion of construction of the Research and Technology Centre oil processing and product innovation facility, timing of revenue generated from the sale of cannabis, expansion of cultivation capabilities, completion of the Transaction with UBIQUO, opening additional UBIQUO clinics, and developing business relationships domestically and internationally. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, including with respect to PharmaCielo’s planned products, and the ability to execute its business plan that management believes are reasonable in the circumstances, but the actual results, performance or achievements of PharmaCielo’s business may be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be affected by known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, but not limited to, the equity markets generally, risks associated with early stage companies, risks associated with the regulation of cannabis and cannabinoid derivatives, failure to obtain necessary TSXV approval, competition for PharmaCielo’s planned products, risks associated with operating in Colombia, and currency exchange risk. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Except as required by law, PharmaCielo undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
As investors continue to prioritize cannabis opportunities in the US, market watchers expect mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to play a role in the future for Canadian companies.
A consolidation trend has been expected in the Canadian cannabis space for some time now based on the size of the market compared to the number of operations in the country.
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