TerrAscend and Cistron Launch Ascendant Laboratories

Published: June 10, 2018

TerrAscend and Cistron Launch Ascendant Laboratories

TerrAscend Corp. formed a strategic joint venture with Cistron Corp. with the launch of Ascendant Laboratories Inc., a science and innovation company dedicated to the advancement of cannabinoid expressing plant biology. Ascendant Laboratories brings together leaders in plant sciences and cannabis production, with a unified vision of elevating the cannabis industry through the development of advanced plant genetics.

Cistron has agreed to grant to Ascendant Laboratories an exclusive license over proprietary intellectual property rights and trade secrets relating to cannabis plant and plant-derived cannabinoid research, and TerrAscend has agreed to contribute cash payments of up to $1,250,000 in return for a combination of shares and warrants, representing approximately 75% of Ascendant Laboratories on a fully-diluted basis. The transaction is valued at approximately C$1.7 million.

“TerrAscend is thrilled to be partnering with Cistron and its team of accomplished scientists. As a company with a major research and development mandate, TerrAscend is looking forward to adding substantial depth to our science team through this partnership with Cistron and its principals,” Michael Nashat, TerrAscend’s President and Chief Executive Officer, “Ascendant Laboratories will be leveraging the knowledge and experience that Cistron has developed in plant sciences and applying it to improve plant yield, add diversity, promote immunity, and modify the physical and chemical traits of cannabinoid expressing plants.”

Cistron’s co-founding scientists Dr. Peter McCourt, Dr. Shelley Lumba and Dr. Dario Bonetta will lead the cannabis science and discovery programs at Ascendant Laboratories. Dr. Peter Azmi, will be appointed Ascendant Laboratories founding President and Chief Innovation Strategist.

Dr. Peter McCourt is a professor in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology at the University of Toronto and is a world recognized authority on functional genomics, systems biology and plant bioengineering. Dr. McCourt holds a PhD from Michigan State University and is presently a Jack Dainty Distinguished University Professor. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications and holds several patents related to abiotic stress genes in plants.

Dr. Shelley Lumba is a leading expert in plant biology, systems biology and plant biotechnology. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Dario Bonetta is a biotechnologist with extensive experience in plant transformation, in vitro plant systems and plant biotechnology. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Dr. Peter Azmi is a business innovation and biotechnology specialist and has worked extensively in the life sciences and biotechnology sectors. He holds a Masters and PhD from the University of Toronto and is a visiting professor of Business Innovation at CEDIM.

Dr. Peter Azmi, Cistron Executive Director of Business Development, noted “We are excited to be partnered with TerrAscend on this bold venture. Our shared vision for Ascendant Laboratories is to become a global leader and resource for cannabis plant sciences and innovation.”

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