22nd Century Doubles Acres Planted of Proprietary Tobacco; New Crop Will Increase Tobacco Inventory for Approximately $90 Million in Potential Sales of Finished Products
WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCBB: XXII.ob), a company focused on the development of a prescription smoking-cessation aid and tobacco harm reduction products, is pleased to announce that it has contracted with dozens of American farmers to grow its proprietary tobacco.
This year, across three states, 22nd Century's contracted farmers planted twice the number of acres planted in 2010. The company started contracting directly with tobacco farmers in 2008 and has essentially doubled the number of acres planted each year since 2009.
22nd Century currently has enough tobacco in inventory for approximately $40 million in sales of finished products. That number is expected to climb to approximately $90 million upon this year's 129-acre harvest.
"Though we certainly are not the largest company contracting with American tobacco farmers, we are definitely the most vertically integrated," stated, Joseph Pandolfino, 22nd Century's Chief Executive Officer. He added, "We develop and supply our own proprietary tobacco seeds to transplant growers who in turn provide the tobacco transplants to our contracted farmers; the cured tobacco leaf is processed and 22nd Century's novel finished products are then manufactured. We are extremely proud of the process, which we call -- From seed to smoke."
The tobacco grown for 22nd Century is used for various products but is primarily for inventory for X-22, the company's prescription smoking cessation aid in development. X-22 is a kit containing very low nicotine (VLN) cigarettes that have approximately 95% less nicotine compared to "light" cigarettes. Following clearance from the FDA, 22nd Century's phase II-B clinical trial, designed to further evaluate the efficacy of X-22 for quitting smoking, will commence this summer.
The X-22 therapy protocol allows patients to smoke VLN cigarettes without restriction over the six-week treatment period to facilitate the goal of quitting smoking by the end of the treatment period. Independent studies, including Phase II clinical trials, have already demonstrated that VLN cigarettes made from 22nd Century's proprietary tobacco facilitate quitting by satisfying smokers' cravings for cigarettes while (i) greatly reducing nicotine exposure and nicotine dependence and (ii) extinguishing the association between the act of smoking and the rapid delivery of nicotine.
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
Founded in 1998, 22nd Century Limited, LLC (22nd Century) is a plant biotechnology company whose proprietary technology allows for the level of nicotine (and other nicotinic alkaloids) in the tobacco plant to be decreased or increased through genetic engineering and breeding. The company owns or exclusively controls 98 issued patents in 79 countries where at least 75% of the world's smokers reside. 22nd Century is committed to developing and commercializing (i) the world's most effective and acceptable smoking cessation aid and (ii) for those smokers who refuse to quit smoking, consumer-acceptable modified risk tobacco products that reduce exposure to smoke toxins, as compared to conventional cigarettes. Through a merger on January 25, 2011, 22nd Century became a wholly-owned subsidiary of 22nd Century Group, Inc.
For additional information, please visit: www.xxiicentury.com
Safe-Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the company, its directors or its officers with respect to the contents of this press release. The words "may," "would," "will," "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "intend" and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's ability to control, and that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors including the "Risk Factors" disclosed in the company's reports filed with the SEC under the Exchange Act, including the company's Form S-1/A filed with the SEC on June 7, 2011 and potential uncertainties regarding the timing and terms of FDA clearance relating to the phase II-B clinical trial of X-22 and sales of finished products from the company's proprietary tobacco.
Source: 22nd Century Group, Inc.
Released June 8, 2011