What happens when biotechnology and cannabis collide? Here to answer this is Ronan Levy of Trait Bio, a biotech company that just cracked the code on how to create flavorless, water-soluble cannabinoids – and without using nanoemulsion.
Learn more at https://www.traitbio.com
- Ronan’s background in cannabis and how he came to start Trait Bio
- An inside look at Trait Bio and its mission to make hemp and cannabis into purer, safer products
- The value of water-soluble cannabinoid products and where Trait Bio is in the process of achieving this
- The risks versus benefits of using nanoemulsion in the manufacturing of cannabis products
- Glycosylation and how Trait Bio is using this instead of nanoemulsion to create water-soluble cannabinoid products
- How trait amplification works to increase the yield of cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants
- Trait Bio’s work with minor cannabinoids and why the industry is beginning to take more interest in them
- How yield differs between yeast and trait application
- Ronan’s long-term goals for Trait Bio and where the company currently is in the capital-raising process
- Where Ronan sees biotech and cannabis heading in the next five years
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 cannainsider.com. Now, here's your program.
What happens when biotech companies start focusing on creating compelling solutions for cannabis? Here to help us answer that question is Ronan Levy from Trait Bio. Ronan, welcome to CannaInsider.
Ronan: Thank you. Happy to be here.
Matthew: Give us a sense of geography. Where are you in the world today?
Ronan: Right now I am in Toronto, Ontario, which has really, kind of, become the epicenter of I think many things cannabis industry-related given the financial markets have largely been situated here. But this is where I've been for the last 20 years and this is where I call home.
Matthew: I would agree with that. I've noticed a trend away from some other U.S. cities and interviews I do where I'm getting more guests in Ontario. So that's definitely a trend that's going on.
Matthew: Ronan, can you share a bit about your background and journey, and how you got into the cannabis space?
Ronan: Yeah, absolutely. So I'm a lawyer by training, but I've been an entrepreneur by spirit for many, many years. And when I met the group of people who would eventually become my business partners, they were exploring an opportunity in the cannabis industry. And they were concerned about some reputational industries to get involved in such a nascent and little-understood industry, just given my nature of being somewhat contrarian and risk-taking.
Matthew: What is Trait Bio at a high level?
Ronan: At a high level, Trait is one of the, if not, the leading cannabis biotech companies. We are focused on solving some of the most interesting challenges and therefore opportunities in the cannabis industry. And we have a great team of researchers who are leading the way on that.
Matthew: Okay. Talk a little bit about water solubility, if you will, and what that means. And why are people even considering making water-soluble products? What's, kind of, the big value proposition there?
Ronan: Yeah. So cannabinoids, by their nature in the plant, are fat-soluble, which means they mix well in oils but not necessarily water-based medium, so water, juice, anything along those lines. And so the fact that it's fat-soluble creates challenges for a number of reasons. For one, it affects the bioavailability and absorption of cannabinoids. And secondly, from a product perspective, it's a lot harder to work with fat-soluble, essentially oils, to mix them into different products whether that product is a beverage, an edible, a vape or anything along those lines. It's just, it's more challenging. It requires high-intensity extraction to get fat-soluble cannabinoids out, often using toxic solvents. It creates separation issues. There's just a whole bunch of issues that go along with fat-soluble cannabinoids.
So there's a heavy amount of interest in water-soluble cannabinoids because it gets around a lot of the limitations with fat-soluble cannabinoids. You get faster onsets, better bioavailability. It's very easy to work with water in terms of formulation in products or water-soluble cannabinoids. In terms of formulation in products, you don't have to use other technologies like nanotechnologies, which have their own health risks to try and formulate products. There's just a whole number of benefits that go from water solubility and water-soluble cannabinoids and that's why we're focused on it.
Matthew: Can you just, kind of, mention what you're thinking with the nano-soluble risks there, what risks those pose?
Ronan: Yeah, so, nanotechnologies, there's utility to nanotechnologies. And I'm not going to suggest that there's not a reason to invest in nanotechnologies and the effort around them, which is they have great utility. But they also have limitations, which is, you know, for one thing, nanotechnologies and nanoemulsions, they can cause molecules to cross the blood-brain barrier, which when you're trying to develop cancer medications to target brain tumors is a highly effective, very desirable outcome.
But when you're looking at products like CBD and wellness products, which people are taking potentially for less dramatic health issues than, say, brain cancer, the risks associated with nanotechnologies are potentially large. They cross the blood-brain barrier, they can get into other organs like your thyroid, there are concerns around bioaccumulation, cytotoxicity, any number of potentially very concerning things that can result from nanotechnologies.
So when you look at them, and really, I think everybody has to do a cost-benefit analysis of whether the benefit associated with using nanotechnologies particularly in ingestible cannabinoid products, outweigh the risks associated with them. And, you know, from my personal perspective, and as a company perspective, we concluded that the risks certainly don't outweigh the benefits for cannabinoid products, at least as, you know, cannabinoid products are currently formulated. If it gets to a point where there's efforts in terms of drug development and real therapies that are evidence-backed in terms of treating other conditions, then certainly, it may make sense. But for general recreational and wellness products, to us, the balance certainly favors not using nanotechnologies.
Matthew: Okay. And so for a dissolvable cannabinoid solution, what do you think is the most desirable product? Like, if could wave a magic wand and solve the liquid solubility problem, where do you think the biggest promise is for in terms of creating products that the market wants?
Ronan: You know what? I don't have an opinion on what the market wants. The market is going to be driven by consumer preferences. I've always believed and having spent a lot of time in the cannabis industry, that there's going to be a strong demand for cannabis beverages. It's a form of ingestion for products that we're comfortable with that much of our social interaction has been built around.
And you haven't seen a whole lot of growth in cannabis beverages and I think that's for two primary reasons. One is, by and large, they don't taste very good presently or manufacturers have to use techniques to try and cover the taste associated with cannabinoids, at least fat-based cannabinoids or fat-soluble cannabinoids.
And secondly, because of the unpredictability of onset with fat-soluble cannabinoids, that when you ingest it, there's something called the first-pass effect, which essentially means that your liver has to metabolize that cannabinoid when ingested orally, which leads to the significantly delayed effect. You know, sometimes it's 45 minutes. Sometimes it's an hour. Sometimes it's two hours. And what too often happens is that people will ingest too much of a beverage or an edible and have a bad experience because they've consumed too much, no different than with alcohol.
And so when you look at water-soluble cannabinoids, A, the distilled cannabinoids that Trait has developed, actually are odorless, tasteless, and perfectly clear. So they're an easy ingredient to work with and really provide a solid foundation to develop very, very pleasant-tasting beverages or edibles without the need to coat those flavors or mask those flavors with sugar or otherwise.
But also there's evidence to suggest that the onset and bioavailability of water-soluble cannabinoids is much preferential. That you'd feel the effects within, you know, 5 to 10 minutes and in a timeframe consistent with alcohol as well because of the higher bioavailability, because more is getting into your bloodstream without having to be metabolized or in fact removed from your bloodstream by your liver. And you don't need as many cannabinoids to actually deliver the same therapeutic effect to a person.
And so water solubility in my mind really opens up a massive potential for cannabis-based beverages or cannabinoid-based beverages. But in the same token, you know, they open up the potential for different vaping technologies that don't rely on propylene glycol as the accelerant.
You know, it opens up the potential for different pharmaceutical products that'll deliver a much more tailored and precise PK, so the amount of active pharmaceutical ingredient in your blood. So there's a number of opportunities in which water-soluble cannabinoids are going to be relevant. But what piqued my interest about Trait, having been in the cannabis industry, was cannabis beverages and really opening up the potential around them.
Matthew: Okay. So you're attaching the cannabinoids through sugar for solubility, is that right? Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Ronan: Yeah, that's exactly it. So we use a process called glycosylation. Glycosylation is actually one of the most commonly found processes in nature. Many, many organisms use this process to... Detoxify is technically the accurate term, but it essentially means modifying the molecule in the body so your body can process it and ultimately excrete it.
And so glycosylation at its base form is just attaching a sugar molecule to another molecule. And so what our process does is, we can use yeast or other cells, naturally occurring cells, that when they encounter a cannabinoid, attempt to glycosylate it. Like, you know, that's what they're built to do. They attach the sugar molecule to it, and as soon as they attach the sugar molecule, it becomes water-soluble.
In many ways, it's very similar to fermentation, when yeast encounters sugar and they ferment that sugar into alcohol. It's very similar to what we're doing, except we're not fermenting sugar into alcohol. We're fermenting essentially a fat-soluble cannabinoid into a water-soluble cannabinoid.
Matthew: Okay. So it's like, kind of, how a motorcycle has a sidecar attached to it, bolted on where you have the water-soluble sugar, and then you're, kind of, bolting on, kind of, a stowaway to help get the water solubility for the cannabinoid. Is that right?
Ronan: Yeah, in a sense. You're taking on the fat-soluble cannabinoid, you're attaching a sugar molecule to it, and as a result of the water solubility, and I think the chemical reaction happens when you bolt down that sugar molecule, it becomes water-soluble. In fact, you know, this process is so common and naturally-occurring, that's what our bodies do naturally, actually. Your body will naturally bolt down the sidecar to a cannabinoid as it's trying to metabolize the cannabinoid and gets ready to excrete it out. So it's much more comfortable than attaching a sidecar to a cannabinoid in your body, but it's not an inappropriate description of how it works.
Matthew: Okay. And what is Trait Amplification, and why is that concept important to understand?
Ronan: Yeah, so Trait Amplified is a technology that we developed. Actually, it's one of the core technologies that we've developed from which many other technologies have sprung. But it is designed to try and increase yields of cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants. Our perspective on the growth of the industry is that for many products, people will not be looking to have dried bud as the end product to consume to vape or smoke, but will rather be looking for, you know, value-added products, whether it's beverages, or edibles, or lozenges, or anything else along those lines.
And so the key ingredient, the key focus, in terms of cultivation, should then be not the number of grams or ounces of bud that a plant can generate, but how many cannabinoids can be generated in it. And so Trait Amplified is a series of strategies that attempt to increase the number of cannabinoids, whether it's THC, or CBD, or any of the minor cannabinoids, increase the amount of yield per plant that cultivators can get from their cultivation efforts. And it's actually been quite successful.
There's a number of different strategies that go into it, but the first ones that we've put into the plant and seen to fruition have increased CBD production by a factor of four. So you're getting four times as much CBD in the plant relative to conventional plants, and three times as much THC. So it's really quite powerful technology in terms of increasing yields, lowering the amount of inputs that need to go into cannabis or hemp cultivation, and by extension also, lowering the environmental footprint that cannabis and hemp cultivation has because you don't have to have as much light or water to generate the same amount of cannabinoids per plant.
So it's quite an amazing technology that Dr. Sayre, our Chief Science Officer has developed, and has great promise for the future of the industry. And coincidently, actually, Trait Distilled, the water-soluble technology is a, kind of, evolution of Trait Amplified because the first strategy Dr. Sayre used to try and increase cannabinoid yields was to detoxify the cannabinoids synthesis process in the plant.
So when the plant is creating cannabinoids, that process is actually, kind of, toxic to the plant which is why you get cannabinoids only in the bud stored in trichome. But if you detoxify that process through glycosylation, you actually open up the plant to being able to grow cannabinoids in every single cell of the plant, not just the bud.
So that's where he started. His efforts increased yield as a result, but we then realized that you can take that process and do it outside of the plant, and do it through a fermentation system. So you could take conventional extracts and just put them into a fermentation system and change the fat-soluble cannabinoids into water-soluble cannabinoids after the fact. Yeah, so Trait Amplified is, going back to the root of your question, is our technology or series of strategies that increase cannabinoid yields in cannabis and hemp.
Matthew: Okay. So you're saying that cannabinoids are actually toxic to the plant itself that's why it's, kind of, not part of the plant, but, kind of, exogenous to it. It dangles off in the flower. But now that you can harvest the desirable cannabinoids you want in the plant itself, you could have, you know, higher density of what you're looking for as your output.
Ronan: Yeah, that's exactly it. I mean, by and large, cannabinoids were developed by the plant as a defense mechanism to, you know, keep it safe. And so you can understand why cannabinoids may not be in high concentrations, great to the plant. And so, if you can find a way to make them safe for the plant, you can grow a lot more of them. This is, kind of, the simple way of looking at it.
Matthew: Okay. And there's a growing interest around minor cannabinoids. Why is that, do you think?
Ronan: Yeah. No, there's a great amount of interest in minor cannabinoids. You know, I think there's a lot of reasons for it, which is there's more and more evidence showing that the minor cannabinoids have different therapeutic opportunities than THC and CBD. For instance, one of the most commonly discussed is CBN, which is one of the more commonly found minor cannabinoids and having potentially great therapeutic impact for people who have sleep problems.
And the challenge with the minor cannabinoids is that they show up in such small quantities, it's hard to do research on them, and it's certainly hard to produce them at enough scale to create products around them. And so a lot of groups have invested money into different technologies to create the minor cannabinoids so they can be scaled, so they can be researched.
And most of these groups, most of the other groups who are doing it are using yeast biosynthesis, which is a potentially very effective way of doing it that involves introducing the genetic framework for creating cannabinoids into things like yeast. But Trait has actually developed a process to create... We believe we can get to about 80% of the minor cannabinoids with a process that doesn't involve yeast biosynthesis at all. It's actually quite a simple process to generate those minor cannabinoids. But, you know, like, anything that's rare, there's always interest in value in something that's rare, and that's why there's so much interest in minor cannabinoids right now.
Matthew: Yeah, this is a point I want to, kind of, go a little deeper into, is, kind of, the difference between biosynthesis and Trait Amplification, what you're doing. Whereas Trait Amplification is where you're, kind of, tweaking the plant to get the most desirable attributes that you want as your output. And biosynthesis is essentially making the cannabinoids in a lab with yeast.
And could you just go over in little more detail why you think what you're doing is different and better just so people get that because I see this biosynthesis, and some people call it cellular farming, is becoming a big theme in the cannabis space, and I just, kind of, want to make sure people understand the contrast.
Ronan: Yeah. So I should clarify. There's actually two different approaches that we have within Trait, generating minor cannabinoids. So one is part of Trait Amplified, that technology, and what that technology essentially does is... Let me take a step back.
Our philosophy has always been that the cannabis and hemp plant is already optimized as much as nature can go to produce the cannabinoids. So to try and take the genetic infrastructure out of the cannabis and hemp plant and implant it into yeast, or algae, or any of the other cellular farming techniques to get those other organisms to produce cannabinoids and minor cannabinoids, it's a challenging process, right? You're essentially having to rebuild the genetic infrastructure of a cannabis plant in another organism when the cannabis and hemp plant has already built that infrastructure.
So our philosophy is instead of trying to rebuild it in another organism, why not focus on trying to optimize the plant to produce CBD, THC, or any of the minor cannabinoids? Whatever the genetic pathways are that are, you know, biosynthesis or the cellular farms are doing and putting into yeast, they already exist in the plant. So instead of rebuilding them, why not tweak them? Why not optimize them and get the plant to do it in the most efficient format? Because nature has invested hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years turning this plant into the best organism on the planet to do this kind of stuff.
Ronan: That's not to say that there aren't, you know, good reasons to explore yeast and algae biosynthesis as well. It just seems inefficient to us to try and get those organisms to do the work that the plant was designed by nature to do. So our efforts are on optimizing what the plant can do.
We have a second strategy for producing minor cannabinoids as well. That, you know, is an entirely different process and just subject because we're still in the process of filing pens around it. I can't provide a whole lot of detail to it. But it's a much simpler process than yeast biosynthesis. And so, just by virtue of it being simpler, it's advantageous in that way.
And secondly, for both Trait Amplified as well as this other strategy, you know, it's... I'm not going to say it's easy by any stretch of the imagination to get yeast biosynthesis to work in any organisms, but the challenges of cellular farming increase as you try and scale it. So it's a lot of work just to get it done on a super small scale, but it's not linear. It's not like, "Okay, we can do it in a small batch, so we can do it in a large batch. Just multiply it by 100 and it works that way."
Many companies have failed trying to scale yeast biosynthesis systems because it's not a straight-line expansion. There's a lot of challenges in scale. And so if you don't have to do that, why would you do that? And that's always been our philosophy and approach to all the technologies that we undertake.
Matthew: When you're trying to increase or amplify a specific attribute of the plant, let's say the CBD factor, are some of the cannabinoids easier to do than others? For example, is CBN easier than CBD or vice versa, or is, kind of, uniform in their difficulty?
Ronan: You know, I would say that it's more difficult as you get down into the minor cannabinoids. And that's just a function of the pathways from which cannabinoids are generated. So virtually, all cannabinoids come from CBGA and then within the plant, the plant will convert that CBGA into THC, and CBD, and other cannabinoids. But then there's, like, sometimes a secondary step and a third step where the THC, the plant then convert that into CBN.
For instance, CBN is a natural result of the degradation of THC. And so the further you go down those pathways, the more challenging it gets just because there's more steps that you have to introduce the genes to, to take the CBGA and to make it into THC, and then take the THC to make it into something else, and then make that other thing into another thing.
So you just see how the complexity increases because it's not always, you know, a single gene that does all the work, you have to start introducing multiple genes. So certainly, it's easier to hit the major cannabinoids in terms of any biosynthesis process. As you get into the minors, it gets progressively more complex.
Matthew: So do you adhere to the idea of the entourage effect then where the minor cannabinoids in the plant work together to, kind of, support, you know, holistic benefit? What are your thoughts around that?
Ronan: Yeah, I mean, I believe in whatever the evidence demonstrates. You know, and so the evidence around the entourage effect is anecdotal right now. But certainly, from my background, I helped start a company called Canadian Cannabis Clinics before joining Trait.
You know, anecdotally, the experience we had with our patients is that people seem to have better results when they were using either cannabis or cannabinoid products that had, like, the full spectrum or full milieu than cannabinoids as opposed to a single molecule.
So that lends credence to the belief that there is something to the entourage effect. But I remain very much open-minded as to whether the evidence supports it or not. But right now, the evidence that I'm familiar with or are aware of would suggest that there is some merit to the entourage effect improving the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis.
Matthew: And how big of an opportunity is licensing your IP going to be do you think?
Ronan: I think it's going to be massive. You know, the technologies that Trait have built, like I said before, are built around what I think are the biggest opportunities in the industry, and I think they are truly like the platform technologies that the future of the industry is going to be built on. You know, our water-soluble technology is certainly the most efficient and easiest to scale in terms of consistent results and deliverables. And because of the efficacy around, and the better bioavailability and onset of water-soluble technologies, you know, I think we'll be the only viable player in that respect. Other people are working on it certainly, but I genuinely believe our technologies are far superior in terms of the outputs, in terms of scalability.
Same with Trait Amplified, which is...you know, it's all cannabis producers and hemp producers are trying to lower their costs. And the orders of magnitude improvements that our technology has still, you know, not fully implemented yet because it takes...you take a phased approach to introduce and stack new technologies on top of each other. But, you know, we've conservatively estimated that we'd increase yields by three to four times, conventional plants.
And just by introducing one of our strategies, let alone the numerous other strategies in the pipeline, we've already achieved that. So the increases in yields that we will be able to generate are quite substantial. And as far as I'm aware, no one is doing that work at the level we're doing it at, with a team that's behind it, and achieving the same results. So I also believe that Trait Amplified is going to become a platform technology that almost all producers will end up using because those who are are going to have significantly improved cost advantages relative to everybody else.
Matthew: And where are you in the capital-raising process right now?
Ronan: We are not actively raising capital right now. We finished financing fairly recently. So we have more than sufficient cash to execute on our research and scaling plan for the next 12 to 18 months. And then, you know, as we get closer to that timeframe or if any opportunities come up, we may revisit that conversation. But as it stands right now, Trait is well-capitalized to execute on its vision.
Matthew: Okay. And where do you see biotech and cannabis going in the next five years? Where is this arc going to lead us?
Ronan: Yeah, I mean my instinct says it follows a trajectory very similar to what you've seen with the other major crops: corn, soy, rice, which is there's going to be heavy investment in terms of new technologies to create more robust, healthier, higher-yielding plants, because it's going to bring the cost of production down and it's going to enable innovation. You know, it's going to establish more certainty of supply chain, more predictable products.
You know, one of the challenges that still exist is growers right now may produce one strain in one lot using the exact same genetics, because nature is sometimes fickle, you'll get different cannabinoid profiles in the next lot. You're going to notice the exact same genetics.
So I think all the effort to produce consistent, robust, healthy high-yielding plants are going to be the direction that cannabis biotech and the cannabis industry is going to head in. And I think that's, you know, particularly supported by where I think the product demand is going to be, which is going to be in the value-added products of beverages, vapes, edibles, all that kind of stuff, pharmaceuticals as opposed to the flowers. So those groups that can produce consistently and at low cost are going to be the most successful. And so, you know, the technology will lead that direction over the next few years.
Matthew: Okay. Ronan, I'd 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 your way of thinking that you'd like to share?
Ronan: Yeah. My favorite author, by a long shot, is an author by the name of Tom Robbins. People often confuse him with Tony Robbins who's the motivational speaker. Not Tony Robbins, Tom Robbins. Tom Robbins...
Matthew: Yes, "Still Life with Woodpecker," right?
Ronan: "Still Life with Woodpecker."Actually, that's the exact book. And, there's been a couple of instances where I've been reading that book and the philosophy underlying that book is so life-affirming. It challenges you to get out there and lead the life that you live or you want to live. And I remember at one point, reading that book, lying in bed, and reading a particular passage about how one person can be more real than any other person. And I had to sit up in bed and, you know, really absorb that passage. And based on that, I took a couple of bold moves and changed the direction of my life, just based on reading one paragraph in a book.
Ronan: And so, "Still Life with Woodpecker," and his book, "Jitterbug Perfume," are my two favorite books. And the philosophy that underpins both of those books is similar. It's all about getting out there, living your life, taking chances, you know, not obeying convention, being true to yourself. And I think everybody would benefit from reading those books because they're A, beautifully written, but B, by trying to absorb that philosophy, I think you can lead a much better life.
Matthew: What do you think is the most interesting thing going on in your field apart from what you're doing exactly?
Ronan: This is a bit of a cop-out answer, but I think what we're doing is the most interesting work. And I guess there's one other answer I'll give, which is not as much of a cop-out, which is, there's a number of groups really, really working hard on formulations, and studying the minor cannabinoids, and seeing the health impacts that they have.
You know, there's been a lot of anecdotal evidence about how cannabinoids can treat, or stop the development of tumors, or kill cancer cells. And certainly, there's lots of in vitro evidence to support that. But there are some groups, some based in Israel that are taking that to the next level, you know, and creating formulations, and understanding the biomechanics of how and why they are effective at treating different conditions. And I think that's super exciting.
You know, it's one of those things that when you learn about the endocannabinoid system in your body, that you realize that, you know, we're, kind of, designed to work with these molecules, and it's quite fascinating. And the more work we do on all the different cannabinoids and the impact they have on our bodies and our lives, it's just fascinating to me.
Matthew: Here's a Peter Thiel question for you. What is one thought that you have that most people would disagree with you on?
Ronan: I am contrarian by nature, and so I'm always advocating being contrarian. I think the best business advice that I've ever learned was, "When everybody is running in one direction, you should be running in the exact opposite direction." And a lot of people disagree with that. A lot of people think it's safer to go with the status quo, to not ruffle feathers, to not, you know, create ripples. And I advocate to anybody, like, "Don't do that. Create ripples. Create noise." Don't create noise for the sake of creating noise. Create noise, you know, because it's true to who you are and what you believe, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And so, you know, get off the well-traveled road. Get on the road less traveled by because I think that's where you'll find fulfillment, satisfaction, happiness, challenge, opportunity.
And, yeah, you know, I tell people, especially if people come to me looking for advice about how to crack into a new industry or a new job, I'm like, "The most important thing as always is to be memorable. It's not to be smart. It's not to be witty. It's to be memorable." And I think a lot of people would agree with that but, you know, because logically it makes a ton of sense, but I think very few people actually live by that principle, and it's one I've always tried to live by.
Matthew: Great answers, Ronan, thank you.
Ronan: Thank you, my pleasure.
Matthew: As we close, can you let listeners know how they can find Trait Bio online and connect?
Ronan: Yeah. The best way to reach us is to visit our website, which is www.traitbio, T-R-A-I-T-B-I-O.com. You can find lots of information about our different technologies and our team there. And if you go there today, you'll see our most recent announcement, which is, we just announced the existence of a strategic advisory board. You know, like I was saying earlier, I think our technologies, particularly the water-soluble, have a lot of impact for future product developments. And the strategic advisory board that we just advised, I think, is reflective of that.
We have a VP from Coca-Cola joining our strategic advisory board. We have the President of Bacardi, the beverage alcohol company. And we also have a former Senior Executive from Wrigley Mars joining our advisory board. And I think all of them are excited to be working with us because they see the potential that these technologies have to develop amazing new products. So that's my final little plug for today.
Matthew: Great. We get a lot of irons in the fire. Good luck to everything that you're doing. And please be sure to circle back and let us know how things are evolving.
Ronan: I certainly will. Thank you so much for the time today, Matt.
Matthew: Thank you.
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