Bee Vectoring Technologies Granted Patent by European Patent Office For Biological
Mississauga, ON Canada and Sacramento, CA USA (July 2, 2020) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (TSXV: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE:BEE) today announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted a patent for BVT’s Clonostachys rosea CR-7 microbial strain (CR-7), and there has been no opposition filed in the nine month post-grant window which has now closed. This patent claims the usefulness of CR-7 as a plant treatment, thus protecting a critical component of BVT’s proprietary natural precision agriculture system, and has been further validated in 14 European countries (Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, UK, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Turkey). The patent has previously been granted in six countries, and is under review by another nine patent authorities around the world.
“This represents a significant expansion of the scope of our Intellectual Property in Europe, building on the EPO’s earlier patent grant for our beehive dispensing apparatus,” says Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. “We now have strong patent protection in the world’s largest market for fungicides, with Europe accounting for 36%(1) of the overall global fungicides market. Europe is a major opportunity for BVT, as growers there are rapidly adopting sustainable practices to reduce chemical use and environmental impacts. BVT’s system is a powerful tool to help them accomplish that.”
The European patent grant (Patent Number EP3044307B1) recognizes the unique properties of BVT’s proven CR-7 strain as a plant-beneficial microbe that offers natural control of various plant diseases. It also protects CR-7 independently of its use as a biologic control agent vectored by bees, enabling the Company to also develop revenue streams in foliar sprays and seed treatments in the well-established traditional global fungicide market.
The current global fungicides market is valued at US$18.7 billion and projected to grow to US$24.5 billion by 2025(2). This growth is due to increased demand for food security by a growing population, advances in farming practices and techniques, and changing climate conditions that lead to disease. Fungicides are used to destroy harmful fungi that affect crop yields.
“This patent is an important part of our larger European strategy – and our aggressive global strategy to ensure the Company is strongly positioned to capture market share around the world,” says Mr. Malik. “We recently established our European office in Switzerland, are working to close on Swiss regulatory approval, and are currently building out our strategy for regulatory submission to the European Union.”
This EPO patent grant is part of BVT’s fungal strain family of patents in the Company’s expanding patent portfolio. BVT has also been granted patents in two families covering different aspects of a bumblebee hive dispensing apparatus, a family of patents covering carrier formulations that allow microbial strains to be carried by bees, and is pursuing a family of patents covering the new honeybee dispenser system that enables honeybees to be used as delivery mechanisms for CR-7 and other biological controls.
BVT has had over 65 patents granted and currently has more than 35 pending in all major agricultural regions worldwide, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
BVT is also pleased to announce it has closed a non-brokered private placement of 1,111,111 units (“Units”) at a price of $0.315 per Unit for gross aggregate proceeds of $349,999.96 (the “Offering”). Each Unit will consist of one common share (a “Share”) and one transferable common Share purchase warrant (a “Warrant”). Each Warrant will entitle the holder, on exercise, to purchase one additional Share for a period of 24 months following the closing, at an exercise price of CAD$0.525 per Share.
Should the 10-day volume weight average price of the Shares, as traded on the TSX-V, be equal to or greater than a 100% premium to the Warrant exercise price prior to the expiry date of the applicable Warrants, the Company may accelerate the expiry date (“Accelerated Expiry Date”) of the Warrants by providing the Warrant holders with notice (the “Acceleration Notice”) of its election to do so. The Accelerated Expiry Date referenced in an Acceleration Notice may be no earlier than the 30th day from the date on which such Accelerated Expiry Date is delivered to the warrant holders. For greater certainty, the Acceleration Notice may not be delivered to the subscribers prior to the Warrant exercise date
BVT intends to use the net proceeds of the Offering to fund its ongoing growth strategy in the agricultural space, for continued research and development and general working capital purposes. All securities issued pursuant to the Offering will be subject to a statutory hold period that will expire on October 31, 2020, in accordance with applicable securities laws.
(1) Source: 2016, Research Nester
(2) Source: 2019, MarketsandMarkets Research Private Ltd.
BVT, an agriculture technology company, is a market disruptor with a significant global market opportunity in the $240 billion crop protection and fertilizer market. BVT has pioneered a natural precision agriculture system that replaces chemical pesticides and wasteful plant protection product spray applications by delivering biological pesticide alternatives to crops using commercially grown bees. BVT’s award-winning technology, precision vectoring, is completely harmless to bees and allows minute amounts of naturally-derived pesticides (called biologicals) to be delivered directly to blooms, providing improved crop protection and yield results than traditional chemical pesticides – and improving the health of the soil, the microbiome and the environment. Currently, BVT has over 65 granted patents, over 35 patents pending in all major agricultural countries worldwide, and has US EPA registration of its VECTORITE™ with CR-7 (EPA Registration No. 90641-2) for sale as a registered biological fungicide for use on the labeled crops.
Ashish Malik, President & CEO
Babak Pedram, Investor Relations
Virtus Advisory Group
Adam Lowensteiner, Investor Relations (for US inquires)
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Certain statements contained in this press release constitute “forward-looking information” as such term is defined in applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words “may”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “potential”, “will”, “seek”, “intend”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” and similar expressions as they relate to the Company, “annual revenue potential”, are intended to identify forward-looking information. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking information. Such statements reflect the Company’s current views and intentions with respect to future events, and current information available to the Company, and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including: planted acres of strawberries in Florida, selling price of competitive chemical pesticides and the US to Canadian dollar exchange rate. Material factors or assumptions were applied in providing forward-looking information. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking information to vary from those described herein should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize. These factors include changes in law, competition, litigation, the ability to implement business strategies and pursue business opportunities, state of the capital markets, the availability of funds and resources to pursue operations, new technologies, the ability to protect intellectual property rights, the ability to obtain patent protection for products, third-party intellectual property infringement claims, regulatory changes affecting products, failing research and development activities, the ability to reach and sustain profitability, dependence on business and technical experts, the ability to effectively manage business operations and growth, issuance of debt, dilution of existing securities, volatility of publicly traded securities, potential conflicts of interest, unlikelihood of dividend payments, the potential costs stemming from defending third-party intellectual property infringement claims, the ability to secure relationships with manufacturers and purchasers, as well as general economic, market and business conditions, as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in the Company’s Filing Statement dated May 29, 2015, filed with the securities regulatory authorities in certain provinces of Canada and available at www.sedar.com. Should any factor affect the Company in an unexpected manner, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, the actual results or events may differ materially from the results or events predicted. Any such forward-looking information is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. Moreover, the Company does not assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of such forward-looking information. The forward-looking information included in this press release is made as of the date of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, other than as required by applicable law. All figures are in Canadian dollars.