Bee Vectoring Provides Corporate Update
Mississauga, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - June 13, 2019) - Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (TSXV: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (the "Company" or "BVT") today provided a corporate update and review of current business activities.
Our primary objective is the full U.S. commercial launch of BVT's vectoring delivery system, utilizing VECTORITETM with CR-7. Market expansion across crop varieties, into markets outside of the U.S. and through strategic or synergistic product development represent further growth initiatives.
The four pillars supporting our launch and growth plans are:
- Regulatory Approval, for each required jurisdiction;
- A robust Commercialization and Marketing strategy;
- Ongoing Product Development and Innovation;
- A solid Corporate strategy, inclusive of partnering and licensing activity, to maximize the potential of our internal product pipeline, as well as capitalize on and accelerate opportunities that arise as we distort the existing market with our novel technology.
We are pleased to provide a short update on the significant progress made with activities in these four pillars.
Regulatory / Approvals activities:
- US EPA: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reviewing the Company's submission of VECTORITETM with CR-7 for use in BVT's vectoring delivery system. BVT is in regular contact with the EPA and believes the agency is nearing the completion of the review. No additional data has been requested and our US commercial launch is scheduled this fall.
- Mexico: The Company has started trials, conducted in Mexico by government approved researchers, in support of registration. The Company has started evaluating distribution partners for the Mexican market. Mexico is the second largest producer of berries in the world and there are more than 12,000 hectares of fresh market tomatoes being grown in greenhouses.
- Switzerland: The Swiss authorities are reviewing the Company's regulatory submission. BVT is in active contact with the reviewing authorities and there have been no questions or requests that suggest any change to an expected decision late 2019 / early 2020. Switzerland is a beachhead country for BVT in the European market, where the Company's precision, biologic-based technology is well-suited for use within the European sustainable agriculture practices.
Commercialization / Marketing activities:
- Revenue: In the Quarter ended March 31, 2019, BVT posted its first revenue from a successful pilot launch into the Southeastern USA Strawberry market. Revenue of CAD $58k came from five strawberry growers, and one Blueberry grower, who elected to purchase the system after participating in field studies in previous years. As growers adopt the BVT system and can quantify their own crop improvements, the Company anticipates growth from an increase in percentage of each grower's treated acreage as well as the addition of new buying growers.
- Crop validation: The focus of the pilot launch was the Florida strawberry market; however, BVT was independently contacted by blueberry growers in Georgia interested in its novel approach to increase yields. This is relevant as the company believes that at this early stage revenue from multiple crops is more important than the level of revenue in a single crop, and in context, the Southeastern US strawberry market is relatively modest when compared to blueberries across the country. Studies are ongoing in multiple blueberry markets in the US as well as in sunflowers.
Product Development / Innovation activities:
- Honeybee dispenser: The Company continuously incorporates device improvements and has now developed a user-friendly honeybee dispenser targeting the established market for commercial honeybee pollination. The system is being tested in almonds, blueberries, sunflowers and strawberries in 2019, in anticipation of a launch in 2020.
- Broadening product portfolio: Crops face many pests during a growing season, and by including third-party products that can be "stacked" together with BVT's own product, a broader scope of pests can be managed through the BVT systems thus increasing the value to a grower. BVT has the only bee vectored delivery system in the US and the company is currently evaluating seven third-party microbial products for delivery through its bumble bee and honeybee systems.
- Foliar formulation: Some of the largest crops worldwide such as corn and soybean do not require bees for pollination. In addition, there are several diseases that affect crops during periods other than bloom which would be difficult to manage through bee vectoring application. BVT has started evaluating spray formulations of its proprietary beneficial microbe - Clonostachys rosea strain CR-7 - which could potentially benefit hundreds of millions of acres of additional crops.
Corporate Development and Partnering activities:
BVT has fifteen current and ongoing discussions with potential business partners covering four areas:
- Commercial - distribution arrangements in markets with no / limited BVT resources where the technology has a strong fit;
- Product line expansions - in-licensing third party biological control agents that could be vectored by bees to manage pests on crops that are not addressed by BVT's CR-7 product;
- Market extension - foliar and seed treatment uses for BVT's CR-7 product in markets with significant revenue opportunity where bees are not used;
- R&D - partnerships to strengthen knowledge of bees and delivery by bees thus optimizing the system and capturing greater value
These partnering discussions indicate a strong industry interest in the Company's technology. The Company believes that several of these discussions will result in agreements that will accelerate business expansion.
"The Company has made significant progress on all strategic fronts, particularly in areas where we have control on timelines," said Ashish Malik, President and CEO. "We have a sharp focus on the US launch in the context of an overall business plan that includes a wider product offering and global, multi-crop reach that will position BVT as a formidable force within the agriculture industry."
BVT has developed and owns patent-pending bee vectoring technology that is designed to harmlessly utilize bumblebees and honeybees as natural delivery mechanisms for a variety of powdered mixtures comprised of organic compounds that inhibit or control common crop diseases, while at the same time enhancing crop vigor and productivity. This unique and proprietary process enables a targeted delivery of crop controls using the simple process of bee pollination to replace traditional crop spraying, resulting in better yields, superior quality, and less impact on the environment without the use of water or disruptions to labor.
Additional information can be viewed at the Company's website www.beevt.com
Ashish Malik, President & CEO
Babak Pedram, Investor Relations
Virtus Advisory Group
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, 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.
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