Willow Biosciences, a biotechnology company focused on manufacturing pure, consistent and sustainable ingredients, provided a summary of its successes in 2023 and outline its plans for growth across all aspects of its business in 2024.
"2023 was a transformative year for Willow with the successful development of our highly valuable BioOxi technology platform which we believe will support significant growth in 2024. We also generated record revenue growth through partnerships and implemented a successful corporate and operational reorganization to support the future growth of Willow," said Dr. Chris Savile, Willow's President & CEO. "In 2024, the Company will capitalize on its platform to bring our exciting corticosteroids program to commercial readiness and identify strategic partners for expansion and acceleration of its pipeline of opportunities."
- Record revenues in 2023: Revenues increased approximately 60% to an estimated $1.3 million in 2023.
- Launched BioOxi bio-oxidation platform technology: BioOxi is an AI-driven selective hydroxylation platform that has been proven to remove multiple chemical steps and significantly reduce cost to manufacture target molecules. By focusing on this platform, the Company accelerated its path to nearer-term and potentially larger revenue opportunities while reducing operational expenses.
- Significantly strengthened its portfolio of both partnered and proprietary programs: The company expanded and diversified its portfolio, driven primarily by the positive industry reception to the BioOxi platform. New programs include multiple partnerships with both innovators, such as Kalsec and an undisclosed Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical company, generic pharmaceutical companies, such as Suanfarma, along with our internal program focused on multiple high value corticosteroids.
- Advanced existing partnered development programs: Successful technical execution on UDCA, Kalsec's savory ingredient program, and a Nasdaq-listed biopharma company's active pharmaceutical ingredient ("API") program led to the next steps toward commercialization. The Kalsec and biopharma programs continue through optimization while UDCA has been successfully transferred for scaling at a contract development manufacturing organization ("CDMO").
- Successful corporate and operational reorganization: In 2023, Willow announced the consolidation of operations in the San Francisco Bay area, announced a more focused team and transitioned both its Board of Directors and its Management to a team of experienced biotech professionals, while significantly reducing the Company's burn-rate and transitioning to near-term revenue opportunities. In parallel, Willow's research and development ("R&D") team accelerated development timelines and increased efficiency through improvements to its AI-based technology platform and high throughput automation capabilities.
2024 Growth Plans
In 2024, Willow looks to progress all aspects of its business including:
- Execution of commercial agreements on its existing programs: With the continued success on its existing partnered R&D programs, the company anticipates the execution of at least one commercial agreement in the first half of 2024 and additional agreements in the second half that could include milestone, profit share, license or royalty payments.
- Transition of R&D programs to commercial revenue: With multiple R&D programs now complete or nearing completion, the Company anticipates generating first commercial revenues from at least two products as they transition to commercial production. Commercial revenue is expected to be potentially milestone, royalty, and ingredient supply revenue.
- Significant increase in revenues: Full year R&D revenues for 2024 are expected to increase by over 100% compared to 2023. In addition, commercial stage revenue is expected to commence on multiple programs.
- Closing at least one partnership agreement on its corticosteroid programs: Given the ongoing discussions with potential partners with regards to our transformative manufacturing process for hydrocortisone, prednisolone, budesonide and other corticosteroids, the Company anticipates execution of one large strategic partnership or multiple product specific partnerships to bring these target molecules to commercial scale manufacturing.
- Announcing additional new partnerships with a focus on innovators: Based on the proven applicability and scalability of the BioOxi platform and ongoing dialog with multiple potential parties, the Company anticipates signing two or more additional partnerships in the first half of 2024 and additional partnerships in the second half to develop biobased manufacturing processes for innovator-owned targets.
- Continued advancement of its core technology platform: The company continues to advance its platform through development of generative AI-powered enzyme discovery and design capabilities coupled with proprietary HTP gene editing tools to enable rapid development of industrially relevant enzymes and organisms. Continuous improvements toward leaner and more cost-effective development cycles include onboarding rapid DNA sequencing capabilities and developing protocols to multiplex thousands of reactions in a single run with the goal of doubling output with current resources.