Willow Biosciences Inc. (“Willow”) (TSX: WLLW) (OTCQB: CANSF), a leading biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing industrial manufacturing of pure, consistent and sustainable functional ingredients announced today the appointment of Jim Lalonde, Ph.D. as its newest independent member of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective February 21, 2023.
“We are very pleased to welcome Jim to our Board,” said Dr. Peter Seufer-Wasserthal, Willow’s President and CEO. “Jim has developed stellar R&D teams behind some of the most key advancements in enzyme engineering and biocatalysis and, in the process, revolutionized a host of industries and processes while driving increased valuations for the businesses he has been associated with over his successful career. “His guidance will be valuable to Willow as we continue to diversify our portfolio with new partners and customers, expand our R&D capabilities, and grow revenue further to support improved company valuation.”
Dr. Lalonde previously served with Inscripta, a global leader in genome engineering technology, as Lead of its Microbial Digital Genome Engineering Business. Prior to that, Dr. Lalonde was Senior Vice President of R&D at Codexis, Inc., a leader in protein engineering. In his nearly 15 years at Codexis he oversaw development of more than 50 enzymes for drug manufacturing, nutrition, biotherapeutics, and molecular diagnostics. He also led development of the company’s pioneering CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology which was licensed to major pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Codexis, Dr. Lalonde held leadership roles in biocatalysis and chemical development at Altus Biologics and in scientific research at Vista Chemical Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lakehead University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Texas A&M University.
“I am excited to join the Willow Board at such a pivotal time when I believe the Company is on the cusp of significant growth with the ability to leverage a best-in-class precision fermentation technology platform to revolutionize the health and wellness, food and beverage and personal care markets,” said Dr. Lalonde. “Willow’s R&D team and platform capabilities are impressive, represent high value to partners seeking innovation in their portfolios, and I look forward to participating in the Company’s success in wielding it to bring sustainable products to market.”
Lalonde also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Bota Biosciences, a global industrial biotechnology company advancing sustainable biomanufacturing; Curie Co., which is utilizing state of the art protein engineering to replace petrochemical-based preservatives with biobased alternatives within personal care; and Invizyne, a pioneer in streamlining synthetic biology with cell free enzyme cascades, to produce a wide variety of high value and difficult to make target molecules.