24 May 2023, Canada: MustGrow Biologics Corp. (TSXV: MGRO) (OTC: MGROF) (FRA: 0C0) (the “Company“, “MustGrow“), and JANSSEN PMP, a division of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) (“Janssen PMP“) have signed an extension to the Exclusive Evaluation and Option Agreement (the “Agreement“) to test and develop MustGrow’s biological mustard plant-based technologies for certain postharvest food preservation storage applications globally.
Pursuant to the Agreement, MustGrow had granted Janssen PMP the exclusive right to test MustGrow’s mustard-based technologies for postharvest storage preservation of fruits and vegetables globally, excluding grains, potatoes, bananas and shipping container fumigation. After a year of testing and determining multiple potential commercial pathways, the companies have decided to extend the Agreement to continue the development of MustGrow’s natural technologies. As specified in the Agreement, Janssen PMP will fund and drive all application testing and development work.
“In post-harvest, the need for technologies derived from nature remains very high. Janssen PMP sees a great potential in the use of the MustGrow technology in extending shelf life of fruits and vegetables. This is the reason why we decided to extend our global exclusive partnership with MustGrow,” said Geoffroy de Chabot-Tramecourt, Director R&D and Business Development at Janssen PMP.
“Over a year ago, prior to our partnership with Janssen PMP, the postharvest fruit and vegetable preservation application was a bluesky opportunity for MustGrow, and as such, we needed a partner with expertise in this particular area. Janssen PMP delivers this expertise, has been a great partner, and we are excited to continue collaborating with them,” commented Corey Giasson, MustGrow’s CEO. “We are very pleased with their work, which has generated significant learnings for both companies in this new area for our technology. This partnership is important, as food preservation is a critical global issue. We believe that using MustGrow’s technology as a postharvest treatment in fruits and vegetables may help secure a safe, environmentally sustainable food supply, with less waste.”
Fruit and vegetable crops play a critical role in global food nutrition. More than one-third of produce (worth approximately US$1 trillion in value) is lost or wasted in postharvest operations,(1) which includes loss attributed to fungal and bacterial diseases. Fresh vegetables are highly perishable living tissues that are particularly susceptible. Postharvest fungal and bacterial diseases can cause annual vegetable crop losses of 40–60%.(2) Reducing postharvest losses could increase food availability, reducing pressure on the mounting food supply shortage and global inflationary pressures with respect to food prices. In addition, food production could be more environmentally sustainable with less waste.
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