Ep 270 – Synthetic Cannabinoids Are Opening Up A New World Of Possibilities

jason poulos librede

Just as we’re becoming comfortable with the massive changes in cannabis legalization there enters a disruptive new technology called “Cannabinoid Biosynthesis” that has prompted a lot of interest among industry insiders.

Here to tell us more about it is Jason Poulos of Librede, a synthetic biology company and leader in cannabinoid biosynthesis based in Southern California.

Learn more at https://www.librede.com 

Key Takeaways:

  • Jason’s background in biology and how it led him into the cannabis space
  • A deep dive into cannabinoid biosynthesis and how it’s disrupting the industry
  • An inside look at Librede and how the company has taken the lead in cannabinoid biosynthesis
  • The intricate work involved in designing a molecular drug that efficiently binds with its target
  • Exciting new discoveries surrounding the potential of cannabinoids beyond CBD and THC
  • The importance of CB1 and CB2 receptors and how they interact
  • The relationship between synthetic cannabinoids and cannabinoids found in nature and how Jason believes that relationship will grow
  • Ways in which we could misuse synthetic cannabinoids that we need to avoid
  • Where Jason sees the cannabinoid biosynthesis business heading in the next 3-5 years and how it will affect the cannabis industry
Click Here to Read Full Transcript

Matthew: Hi, I'm Matthew Kind. Every Monday, look for a fresh new episode where I'll take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at cannainsider.com. That's C-A-N-N-A insider.com. Now, here's your program.

Just as we're getting comfortable with the massive change of cannabis legalization, there enters a disruptive new technology called cannabinoid biosynthesis that has many industry insiders very excited about the prospects, but also scratching their heads about how this industry can scale. Here to help us understand is Jason Poulos of Librede. Jason, welcome to CannaInsider.

Jason: Thank you, Matt.

Matthew: Give us a sense of geography. Where are you in the world today?

Jason: So, Librede is located in Carlsbad, California, which is just a little bit north of sunny San Diego.

Matthew: Okay. And what is Librede on a high level?

Jason: So on a high level, Librede is a biotech company and our goal is to look at nature for therapeutic compounds and then produce those compounds at an industrial scale. And so at the highest level, we're a biotech company.

Matthew: Can you share a little bit about your background and journey and how you got into the cannabis space and came to start Librede?

Jason: Yeah. So, my background's in bio-engineering and biotechnology. I started Librede coming out of the University of California, Los Angeles with a different technology. And so we started this on an artificial cell membrane platform. So, what we were doing was we were creating artificial cell systems and then looking at human proteins embedded in those systems as a way to do high throughput drug discovery and drug screening for the pharmaceutical industry. So the basic idea was a cell on a chip, right? We have a cell, we put it on a chip. And then you have the ability to study human membrane proteins inside of there. And one of the proteins we were really interested in looking at was a protein called a TRP channel. The TRP in mate receptor is involved in cold sensing. It's kind of when you put methanol on your skin, that's the channel that gets activated. And it was interesting from a pain pathway system as a target.

And so, cannabinoids had also been recently shown to interact with these channels. And this is back in 2011, 2012. And so, when we were developing a new technology, we don't want to do what has already been done. We're always trying to look towards the future, like what's going on next? What are the next, you know, important drug targets? What are the next important therapeutics? Because your technology has to work with those. So, we, you know, we were looking at this protein and then we wanted to look at it in the presence of cannabinoids. And so the ability to get access to cannabinoids, it was not that difficult for THC and CBD. But the other compounds were. So the minor cannabinoids, we couldn't really get access to. And so we're like, "Well, how are we going to test our system with these new cannabinoids?"

And Dr. Farina, Anthony Farina, you know, our CSO, thought that he's like, "I bet we can make microorganisms produce these chemical compounds so we could use them at [inaudible 00:03:25]." Because we didn't need that much of them. And so, we kind of set out on nights and weekends to develop this technology. And kind of on our first pass, we actually were able to produce some cannabinoids at reasonably high enough levels that really started to turn my eyes towards it and became extremely interesting. And that was kind of my first window into the cannabis space and the cannabis industry. And I knew we had something of extreme value then, and that this is really a way to kind of get access to not just THC and CBD, but many other cannabinoids. And so we kind of decided to switch all into this. And it's been kind of a fun ride ever since.

Matthew: Yeah. So, when you say microorganisms, a lot of people will be like, "What does that mean exactly?" Can you just give a little bit more context on what that means?

Jason: Yeah. So, microorganism, there's kind of generally three classes: the fungus, algae and bacteria. So, you know, bacteria, small little bug, right? So that's like a microorganism. Algae would be another example, and yeast. So, like baker's yeast, you know, yeast that we make beer with or bread with? That's another example of a microorganism. So, our lives are involved with microorganisms every single day. Our guts rely on them. And so they're everywhere even though you can't see them all the time.

Matthew: Okay. Do you feel like when you meet people and you're trying to explain at a cocktail party or anything what you do, there's any kind of stumbling blocks? Or how do you help them understand it if they're struggling?

Jason: Yeah. So, sometimes there are people like, "I don't understand how a bug can make the same chemicals that a plant can do." And so, typically, what I talk about is that...it's the word biosynthesis that sometimes can trip some people up. And so the way I explain it is that, you know, plants, just like humans, we make chemicals, right? We make lots of different things. And so plants, you know, can make different smells and things like that. And so they're synthesizing chemicals. But it's a biological system. So, it's biology synthesizing chemicals. So it's biosynthesis. And so, if we understand that biology can be used as a chemical factory, then, you know, I can...other biological systems can also be used as chemical factories. And then if you have a chemical factory, you can start to transplant the machines inside that factory in between, you know, from a plant to an organism, from one chemical factory to another, and actually end up making the same products or the same chemicals. And so, it's really no different than any sort of kind of basic chemistry. It's just is biology is doing the chemistry versus, you know, mixing two chemicals in a jar.

Matthew: Okay. So chemical factory, that's kind of the way you talk about it. What aspect of these chemical factories do you think is most important for cannabis enthusiasts and business owners understand in terms of what's possible with these chemical factories?

Jason: So the most interesting thing and useful thing from the cannabis industry side is the ability to control what's going on. So when you start to engineer these new chemical factories and microorganisms, you're doing them from the ground up. And so that allows you total control. It's like designing your own house to be exactly what you want it to be. So, the cannabis plant is extremely complicated. Huge, large genomes making lots and lots of different chemicals. But if I decided that I wanted to make a chemical factory that only makes one chemical at a time, it looks a little bit different. And it's actually a little bit simpler so I can actually target to go in and target exactly what we want to make and then build that up in a much more simplistic system and taking away all the complexities of an agricultural production.

So, you know, soil, long growth times, water, light, fertilizers, pesticides, those don't come into play anymore. And so, because it's a much more simplistic system, we get much more consistency and control out of what's going on. And people like reliability in supply chains. And so that's where this is all going. It's kind of consistent purity, low cost and reliability. And so that's what you get out of this, is that ability to control basically at a molecular level.

Matthew: So when we talked in the past, you talked about how drugs, molecular drugs or remedies can be designed well so they perfectly bind with their target in terms of creating that control. Can you talk a little bit about maybe how to create a molecular drug that perfectly interacts with its target and what that means?

Jason: Yeah. So with respect to cannabinoids, we're mostly talking about binding to the cannabinoid receptors, right? And so the natural cannabinoids, the phytocannabinoids found inside the cannabis plant have been okay at doing that. They kind of bind well. They bind a little bit, but not too much. And that's...they're in the kind of Goldilocks area. It's just the right...because if you end up binding too tight, you have problems. And some drugs have been pulled from the market that have been designed to bind really tight to the cannabinoid receptors. And if you don't bind enough, then you don't get any sort of therapeutic benefit. And so, the ability to control the production of molecules at the molecular scale allows you then to modulate the binding to receptors, and that then allows you to develop new therapeutics and to kind of, even kind of dial in more on this Goldilocks area that the phytocannabinoids have happened to stumble upon. And so that's one way that we can use the platform for designing new therapeutics.

Matthew: Okay. And when helping people understand, for example, the CB1 and CB2 receptors, is it fair to say kind of like a receptor is like the female puzzle piece and then the male piece fits into the receptor? Or how do you...

Jason: Yeah. It's a lock in a key, right? That's exactly what it is. And so there's a huge number of receptors in our body. And they're all just about chemical signaling. And so when something binds the CB1 or CB2 receptor, it begins a chemical cascade or a signaling cascade down that can have many different physiological outcomes. And we see this with all the different effects that cannabis and cannabinoids, individual cannabinoids have been used for. I mean, THC again has been a pharmaceutical product for 30 years, I think, now. And CBD is just recently a pharmaceutical product. And they're used for totally different indications and, you know, the binding of different receptors in different ways. And so this becomes really interesting. Depending on what key you have, you can open up different doors. And even though these keys can look somewhat similar, behind each door can be a totally different area of exploration.

Matthew: Okay. Now, in terms of scale, you know, people are thinking, how does this work here? We have, let's say, yeast in bakers or some other microorganism and we're trying to create products fit... How does this work at scale in order to be a business?

Jason: Yeah. So, has anybody ever heard of Anheuser-Busch?

Matthew: No. I'm [crosstalk [00:11:35] idea.

Jason: So that's how this works.

Matthew: Huge vats is what we should picture. Huge vats.

Jason: Yeah, this is the way this looks at scale. And this has been done before. So, cannabinoids are natural products. They're just they're valuable natural products. There's a laundry list of natural products that people interact with on a daily basis. Aspirin comes from the bark of the willow tree. Taxols and anti-cancer drug, that comes from the yew tree. Capsaicin, you know, is put in cream, that comes from peppers. Vanilla comes from the vanilla bean. Grapefruit comes from the grapefruit. I can go on and on and on. And I think half the pharmaceutical products in the market today are derived from some sort of natural product. So this is, historically, natural products are good and cannabinoids are good, too. We're learning more and more about them, and the more we learn, the better they are.

But as you move to an industrial scale, plants aren't necessarily made to produce these compounds at an industrial scale. That's not their job to do this and to supply human populations with these. So you have to come up with alternative ways of doing this. And yeast, specifically yeast, have been used to produce high value natural products. For example, the grapefruit smell, that is produced in yeast. The rose smell is produced in yeast. And that's good if you're in the perfume or sort of flavor and fragrance industry. Now we don't have to have, you know, huge fields of roses to make one small bottle of perfume. So that's great from an environmental sustainability standpoint as well as a reliability standpoint, because you know exactly the smell that you're going to get every single time. This is also done for Omega-3 fatty acids, and a whole list of other compounds have been done like this at scale.

And so when I talk about scale, I mean the metric ton level. I'm not interested in kilograms. It's metric tons that we're going for. So this is what it looks like. So, imagine that you're...have you ever brewed beer before? That's basically what we do on a day to day basis. And if you've ever worked in an Anheuser-Busch facility, that's what it looks like at an industrial scale. So the yeast kind of produce these compounds and then you can extract them out and purify them. And they're white, tasteless, odorless powders.

Matthew: So as these worlds of synthetic and natural cannabinoids come together, how do you think about those two worlds coming together and what should we know? What's of interest there?

Jason: Yeah, so I think, just to back up a little bit, there's this...the idea of synthetic versus natural cannabinoids is something interesting and I think it kind of happens in the definition here of a few words. And I want to start back at the beginning before I kind of directly answer that question. So, cannabinoids are anything that basically interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptor. That's gonna be the definition of a cannabinoid. And so there's phytocannabinoids. These are the cannabinoids that are found in plants. For example, you know, THC, CBD, CBC, those are phytocannabinoids found inside the cannabis plant. There's also endocannabinoids. Those are the cannabinoids inside of our body. The names of them are hard to say. I just say their abbreviations, AG2 for example. So these are just, you know, natural cannabinoids that are produced inside of our body.

And then there's synthetic cannabinoids. So, synthetic cannabinoids are cannabinoids that are made in laboratories that cannot be found in nature or a human body. So they're not a phytocannabinoid. I can't find them in a plant and they're not inside of a human body, and so they're synthetic cannabinoids, invented cannabinoids. What we're doing is we're actually matching [SP] the phytocannabinoids, we're just doing...we're doing it the exact same way that nature does it. We're just making it in a highly efficient system, okay? So, what's happening now is the world of biotechnology and the cannabis industry are interacting and they're doing this on the level of kind of the production side. So, it's about optimizing the production and creating an efficient system so that you get to scale and reduce costs and then environmental sustainability through the use of technology. So it's not really synthetic cannabinoids that are being produced. It's engineering a more efficient biological system to do definitely what nature does, but just doing it faster and more efficiently. And so that's really what's going on. It's not necessarily synthetic cannabinoids that are being produced. It's an application of technology to our production system.

Matthew: Okay. And is there any way that you think it's a misuse or things you want to be careful of when creating cannabinoids or combining them in any way, synthetic or organic?

Jason: Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, you have to be extremely careful. The CB1 and CB2 receptors, many, many things can bind to them. If you don't do this correctly, you can have extreme adverse side effects. And there's huge examples of it. So for example, the synthetic cannabinoid, people refer to this as typically Spice. These are the things that, you know, people go crazy on. What's the difference between them? Sometimes it's a single nitrogen, a nitrogen getting replaced inside the THC molecule. That allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier a lot faster and combined tighter then to the CB2 receptor, that's bad news, okay? So we have to be really careful about what we're producing here. And as well as stereochemistry matters a lot. So you talk about that, it's left-handed and right-handed molecules.

And this makes a big difference. So, when you're developing new production technologies, you have to make sure and have to be careful about exactly what you're producing, and so you know exactly what's going into products and what's going into inside of people. And so you do. You have to be careful with the system just like you're careful with any sort of neurological compound in general. And so as we move and create, you know, potentially new cannabinoids or new formulations, you have to go through the typical safety screening and testing that needs to be done. I mean, that's what we do with our compounds when we make them. It starts in nice models and then goes beyond that. So, it's something that everybody needs to be aware of.

Matthew: If you were...I mean, this is conjecture here, but in the next five years, if you were to look at cannabinoid biosynthesis and say like what market share, what areas of market share it's going to be, the products are going to be in, pharmaceutical supplements, foods, edibles, topicals, like where do you see biosynthesis having the most traction in the cannabis industry?

Jason: So, from a pharmaceutical standpoint, it's for sure going to go there. I mean, that's easy to say that it goes there and it captures a lot of that market share as the pharmaceutical market develops. Inside the consumer market, it's going to be, obviously not the flower component, okay? But I think you're going to start to see this dominating in the edible space, the topical space, even vape pens. And I consider that to be kind of on the nutraceutical type of the industry. There's going to be a transition period. So, you know, I think about hemp oil or kind of full spectrum oil as effectively a carrier solvent where you can start to begin to spike in kind of pure compounds to get to the ratios that you want and get the consistent ratios that you want, and also have the ability to create new ratios that are not found in nature.

So for example, having a high CBG content topical cream, it's really difficult to get that in nature. And you can do that now with biosynthesis. Or having a high CBDV, some of the V compounds in there. And that's where you can do and that's where they're going to come in. So, it's about creating new products, not just, you know, THC and CBD. And that's effectively a black and white world and what you can do now is begin to add color to this. So that's, I think, that's where it's going to go. There will be a transition period, as I mentioned, but eventually I do believe that there's going to be a cannabinoid product in every single household. And it's not going to be THC and CBD. It's going to be other compounds in there.

Most people have Ibuprofen or aspirin inside their house. But what you don't have is the bark of the willow tree in your house. And just as natural products, from a historical content, have moved from natural systems to efficient industrial systems, the same will happen with cannabinoid production. And so I see it happening. And concentrates, anything that uses extracted cannabis oil, this will make more sense to use pure cannabinoids to allow for reproduction of a chemical profile. And that enables then branding of your products and consistency. Anywhere I go in the world, Coke tastes the same. I know that's not totally true. There's Mexican Coke, which is slightly different. It tastes good, too. But that's what you're looking for here. How do you make a brand and how do you get consistency? And you're going to do that through controlled formulation, which is enabled by pure cannabinoids, which you can only get through synthetic or biosynthetic production.

Matthew: You know, some people say that THCV has an appetite suppression qualities to it. Do you see anything with that coming to market in terms of, you know, diet aides or things like that? Is that gonna...

Jason: Yeah. I mean, I hear a lot about that, too. So, THCV is high on people's lists, something that's interesting, something that we can produce, something that's been very difficult for plants to produce. I've heard people talk about, you know, getting some high THCV plants out through breeding programs. But it seems to have been taking a long time. But, yeah, I mean, that's what's interesting here. So, you know, maybe we're talking about having a diet pill here, you know, a naturally derived diet pill. That would be really exciting to have something like that in a medicine cabinet. And so, it's really, when you kind of remove the constraints of an agricultural system, you can begin to think about creating new products like THCV that you mentioned and doing kind of so much more.

So, we look at the plant for the examples of what compounds we should make and then we do them, then we create them in a highly efficient manner. And so it's not only doing what the plant can do, but kind of doing so much more and enabling that accessibility to these compounds. I mean, if they're valuable therapeutics, what I want to do is to get access to them so we can supply them to as many people as need them and to do it for as low as cost as possible. That's what we should be doing from a therapeutic standpoint, I believe.

Matthew: Okay. And if you had unlimited budget and time and could only perform like experiments on yourself, which ones would you kind of...which cannabinoids and combinations and things would you be doing to kind of optimize just yourself?

Jason: Yeah, I mean, so that's interesting. I've thought about this. I've actually talked with the NIH about this a little bit, too, the National Institute of Health. It really...it doesn't sound very exciting, but it's at the beginning. I mean, I'd really like to do kind of minute changes and formulations to see what effects those have. Taking the top 12 cannabinoids and kind of start to play with permutations of those and see what the effects are. I mean, we really don't know how any of these things work. And so some really basic, basic information about what does CBC do, I'd be really interested in seeing what happens with that because I think so little is known about these compounds. And so you really got to start at the beginning.

Matthew: Yeah. Well, Jason, I like to ask a few personal development questions to help listeners get a better sense of who you are. With that, is there a book that's had a big impact on your life or way of thinking that you'd like to share?

Jason: Yeah, actually, recently there's a book of poems called "Consider the Humble Poet" by Joan Tenor. Not a very well-known author, kind of an older view, but I like that. It's a unique view on, you know, the life that people don't see a lot of about. And it's just as interesting to kind of get out of what people consider, I think, kind of famous authors and things like that. So, yeah, "Consider the Humble Poet" by Joan Tenor. That was something interesting I read.

Matthew: Okay. Is there a tool that you or your team use that you consider valuable to your productivity?

Jason: Yes. Okay. So, there definitely is. We use lots of different tools. Some tools are lacking, but the power of DNA synthesis has and will continue to change our lives, okay? The ability to effectively print DNA which then allows you to print genes, allows you to print enzymes, which are the chemical machines to create chemical factories, is an extremely valuable tool that we use inside the lab and has really enabled the growth of the synthetic biology industry in general.

Matthew: Yeah, that seems really promising. I don't have the knowledge to fully appreciate exactly what that means. I mean, apart from what we talked about today, how do you think it's going to show up in people's lives first here in the 21st century?

Jason: Yeah, so the thing about the DNA synthesis, it's all in the background. It's the stuff that you don't know. It's the complicated electronics inside your phone, okay? Like, I don't know how...I mean, I don't know how my phone works. I hit the call button and it goes. There's this complicated electronics that are doing things in chips and chips reading it. And so what the power, the ability to make DNA rapidly is gonna allow us to do is to allow us to make new compounds and new therapeutics and do this rapidly. And so although you don't always see what this is and how this was made, the kind of the core behind a lot of these technologies and therapeutics kind of begins at the DNA synthesis level. People have heard a lot about CRISPR technology these days and, you know, gene editing. You need to edit...in order to get that to work, you need to actually synthesize small fragments of DNA.

It's not what you talk about, but it's kind of the core and the base of this. For biosynthesis production of cannabinoids, it begins with us typing in a DNA sequence into a computer and then hitting the order button. And then, you know, the cannabis gene getting sent to us as a piece of DNA. We don't need to touch the plant. And so this means we can do lots of changes to these enzymes quickly to make them much more efficient, to make them work faster. And so, it's difficult to see these things in your life, but that has been a big, big game changer, that ability to kind of synthesize and manipulate DNA rapidly and cheaply. You've got to understand, when we did this in the first time back in 2013? Yeah, because we filed our patents in 2014. We ordered the genes to do this for less than $5,000.

So we built the entire cannabinoid pathway into yeast for genes that cost less than $5,000. I mean, that's insane. And you've got to understand like, we were a company of a few people that had zero money. And so, we put our own money basically into doing that. And, you know, when you're fresh out of graduate school you don't have a lot of money. In fact, a thousand dollars is a lot of money to me. And so it's still...but because that barrier was small, we could go ahead and do it. You can make those bets. And that's what started this company. It's the ability to kind of get after that DNA. And so that had such a huge, obviously, impact on my life and I think it will continue to have an impact on like the global population in general with respect to therapeutic development.

Matthew: You know, I think about the DNA editing quite a bit. I think, you know, how... It's already starting. Like in South America, I know some people that, they can like change their kid's eye color or hair color and just how, at first, we're going to like try to eliminate diseases or things that are undesirable. Like, maybe you're prone to MS. Like, "Do you want your kid to be prone to MS?" You say, "Oh no, I don't want that." "How about like they're prone to balding?" "Well, no, just take that out, too." And then all of a sudden it's like...it's all of a sudden like, "How about cognitive learning ability?" "Oh, I want that to be high," you know. And next thing you know, you're kind of creating this super race of people.

Jason: Yeah. It's basically eugenics again. I mean, this is super dangerous. Yeah, I totally agree with you. So this is the field of bioethicists and there's many out there that are much more well-versed in discussing these issues than me. But, yes, with any technologies that's created, those can be used for good and those can be used for bad. I mean, I look at nuclear power that way. I mean, the nuclear bomb is terrible. I think nuclear power is not so bad. So we have to be careful about this. You have to be careful about what you do, what the implications mean. And these are discussions that we need to have kind of at a societal level. Really at a governmental level. What do we want to be doing as a society?

Do we want to be getting rid of sickle cell? And so there's just recently a study, they just started human trials for CRISPR to help cure sickle cell. I mean, I think we could agree that, yeah, you know, we should edit that gene out if we can. That's good. MS. I think we can agree with that. And so, where do we stop as a society? I think probably, you know, baldness. I think it's like, yeah, it's getting there. I don't think we want to do that. You know, high cognitive ability, eye color. I mean, man, it's starting to get into some areas...

Matthew: Or you could just like, "Hey, I don't want to spend $14,000 for my kid to have braces. Can we just get some straight teeth here?" Like, "Sure. Done." And you're like, "Oh, what else can I do?"

Jason: Yeah, exactly. And these...yeah. So, I mean, these are important issues. I think that, you know, there's lots of people thinking about them. But this is starting to come up. And the pace of technology moves so quickly that we need to be doing these, having these discussions and making sure that we're doing it slowly. I think the FDA in the United States has a pretty good kind of governing control over this. And like, I use governing as in like a governor on like an engine. Like, they pretty like to do things slow. There's other countries that like to move...are moving faster, and this is, well, this is...man, you guys are editing embryos and do we want to be doing this and what are we doing? You know, and basically the ability to change human evolution through to biotechnology.

I mean, these become interesting questions that you could write science fiction novels back in the '50s about, and now it's your life. And so, it's definitely something we need to think about and we need to make sure that we're doing this in the right way. But given the cautions that are there, there's also so much that can be done for good. And so you don't want to limit the technology necessarily. But you do need to keep an eye on it and make sure that we're using them in a responsible ways.

Matthew: That makes sense. Now, here's a [inaudible [00:33:16] question for you. What is one thought that you have that most people would disagree with you on?

Jason: Yeah. So what's the... So I don't know if many people disagree with me on this... Yeah, I guess people...a lot of people do. I typically think that nothing is very new in the world. That everything that is done can always be looked back through with some sort of historical context and a model can be found and repeated. And a lot of sometimes people think, especially kind of with regard to the cannabis industry, this is something...this is brand new and, you know, cannabinoids, nothing like this has ever been seen before. And this is, you know, a brand new industry. And I think we've seen things like this before in the land of therapeutics and things in the land of the regulatory environment, too. And so, I like to kind of look to history to see examples of how things have always been done and then kind of morph them in there and morph them into...morph and map them on to what's going on in today's world.

And I think other people would disagree with that. It's like, "Hey, this is brand new and so you can't look to the past. You have to create your own future." And I understand that mentality, too, and that can be useful. But I think a lot of things have historical context that you can bring into play when planning for the future.

Matthew: Jason, before we close, can you let us know where you are in the capital raising process, if anywhere?

Jason: Yeah. I mean, you know, we're a biotech company. We almost always are raising money. So we do rounds periodically. And so, we did a round recently and we'll probably be gearing up to do another one in quarter four. I'm always really interested in partnerships and bringing together unique skill sets from a variety of different areas like the pharmaceutical industry, the production systems and platforms, and bringing those together to accelerate the commercialization of the technology as well as getting compounds to markets. So, anyways, that's kind of where we are. So we should be looking at quarter four maybe this year of coming out with doing some more things. And I hope to have some exciting news before that, too.

Matthew: Well, as we close, let listeners know how you spell Librede and how to reach out to you if they're accredited investors and want to learn more.

Jason: Yeah. So, Librede is spelled L-I-B-R-E-D-E. And this goes back to our days as an artificial cell company. It stands for Lipid Bi-layer Research and Development. So, not many people know that, but that's what it stands for. And so Librede there, you can go to our website. It's librede.com, L-I-B-R-E-D-E.com. And, you know, there's a Contact page there, there's an Info page there. They can reach there, that actually goes basically directly to me. I'm also on LinkedIn. It's Jason Poulos and you can reach out to me there. And so we're always looking for, you know, new people to kind of come in and join the team, whether they be investors with, you know, different skill sets as well as, you know, people that help want to build up the science, molecular biologists, protein engineers, you know. We're growing and we'd like to bring on the best people to help this company grow.

Matthew: Well, Jason, thanks so much for coming on the show today and educating us. We really appreciate it and good luck with Librede. It sounds like a really fast growing area. I'm sure there's great things to come.

Jason: Yeah. Hey, thank you so much, Matt.

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