EXMceuticals Inc (CSE:EXM) (FRA:A2PAW2) said it has secured a coronavirus (COVID-19) research & development (R&D) focused grant from the European Union (EU) and the Portuguese government in what it said was a “landmark event” for the company.
The biosciences group, which specializes in unique cannabinoid formulations, said a consortium led by EXMceuticals Portugal Lda, operating under the project name ‘BioBlockCOVID’ and consisting of EXMceuticals Portugal Lda, Cosmetek Lda, and the Universidade de Coimbra, has been awarded €302,000 by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Portuguese government to study and develop disinfectants to combat SARScoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The BioBlockCOVID project aims to create functional, natural and innovative biocide formulations that will specifically target and attack the molecules that make up COVID-19. The research will focus on the virucidal action of naturally occurring bioactive compounds from the cannabis plant, in addition to others.
EXMceuticals said the award comes from a competitive tender opened by the ERDF, which finances two Portuguese funds named Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização and Programa Operacional Regional de Lisboa, to support companies and R&D entities based in Portugal. The grant aims to create an incentive system for R&D activities and investment in testing and optimization infrastructure of relevant products in combating COVID-19.
The company said the consortium believes the project will result in a set of technical and scientific advances, specifically combatting the propagation of SARScoV-2 and similar viruses. It added that the use of natural materials will increase efficacy and also reduce the environmental impact of the currently used chemical compounds not only found in the production process but also in their end usage.
"We are very confident that the concepts outlined in BioBlockCovid will result in new practical and state of the art solutions to help control the pandemic. Alongside our partners working in therapies and vaccines, we intend to contribute with practical solutions to this very serious global problem. EXM's overall mission is to combine safe, natural and bioactive materials with advanced and sustainable technologies to create products with significant health and wellness benefits", EXMceuticals Portugal’s chief innovation officer Susana Santos said in a statement.
"We are very pleased to reach this landmark recognition for our activities in Portugal. I'm very confident and excited with this new project, which is one of several varied R&D and grant initiatives that we now have in progress. This grant will enable EXM Portugal to greatly expand the ongoing work of our research team on the product innovation side. We will also now accelerate the operations and projects on our existing pilot cannabinoid refinery, particularly standardizing and optimizing extraction and refining protocols. In the coming months, this will allow us to scale up to the full industrial-scale EU-GMP, pharmaceutical-grade extraction, refining and purification facility in Portugal”, added EXMceuticals Portugal chief executive Paulo Martins.
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