Imagine a world where we harness the power of plants to improve human wellness without harming the environment. Israeli biotech innovator BioHarvest Sciences (CSE:BHSC) is turning this vision into reality through its Bio-Plant CELLicitation plant cell technology, which is paving the way for a new era of sustainable and highly effective botanical compositions.
BioHarvest’s patented technology sets the company apart from traditional agriculture by producing botanical compositions without the need to grow the entire plant. These compositions are rich in primary and secondary metabolites such as proteins, phenolics, terpenes, steroids and alkaloids, which are of significant value to the nutrition and health industries. The botanical compositions produced through BioHarvest’s platform technology are highly bioavailable, consistent, pure, patentable and environmentally sustainable.
One of the company’s notable successes is its flagship product VINIA, a botanical composition derived from red grape cells that contains high levels of polyphenols, particularly piceid resveratrol.
VINIA has undergone multiple clinical trials and has proven to be effective for various therapeutic applications, having gained recognition for its ability to increase arterial dilation, improving blood flow throughout the body and supporting heart health, physical energy, mental alertness and cellular protection.
“The current global market for nutraceuticals is approximately US$160 billion and it is growing rapidly,” BioHarvest Sciences Chief Executive Officer Ilan Sobel tells Canadian Securities Exchange Magazine. “VINIA is uniquely positioned in this market because of its clinically proven efficacy and its successful track record with consumers over the last three years.”
Sobel says BioHarvest aims to achieve market share of at least 5% in the US cardiovascular and energy health segments within the next 36 months.
CELLicitation involves growing cells from different parts of the plant in liquid solutions inside large disposable bioreactors, and the platform has already been validated across multiple plant-derived compositions. The process allows BioHarvest to produce cells that contain the plant’s primary and secondary metabolites, known as phytochemicals, in a controlled and efficient manner.
And the company is building undeniable momentum. In 2022, BioHarvest reported revenue of US$5.5 million, a 179% increase from the previous year.
For 2023, BioHarvest anticipates revenue of $17 million to $20 million, which works out to around 300% growth compared to 2022. It also expects to break even at a cash operating level in the fourth quarter.
BioHarvest’s customer base is largely subscription based, and customer satisfaction is high, with a current rating of 4.8 out of 5 from over 2,200 reviews. The company plans to further expand its sales channels, including partnerships with major retailers such as Walmart.com, Amazon, and direct-to-doctor sales through integrative medicine specialists.
“We have announced the addition of 25,000 [direct-to-consumer] new customers in the last 12 months, and our current growth is limited only by our production capacity, which we are increasing significantly,” Sobel adds.
To support the anticipated growth, Sobel says the company’s newly designed production facility has annual production capacity of 20 tons, which is enough to meet its global operations plan for the next two years. The company is currently in the process of scaling up production to reach the maximum capacity.
Plans also call for building a larger facility with a capacity of 100 tons per year. To aid this expansion, BioHarvest recently hired Dr. Ilana Belzer as its first Chief Operating Officer to oversee manufacturing, including the development of new technologies to improve yield and reduce production costs.
Furthermore, the BioHarvest Sciences CEO says the company is diversifying its product channels by developing new formulations that incorporate VINIA into coffee, tea and protein bars. These are set to be available in late 2023 and early 2024.
BioHarvest is also looking to grow through other channels, particularly sports partnerships due to the obvious benefits its products can provide to athletes.
“Our recent partnership with Yo Murphy of the House of Athlete is an example of a unique program, where we just saw four of his ‘Team VINIA’ NFL prospects selected in the 2023 NFL draft,” Sobel says. “The partnership is a significant milestone for BioHarvest and demonstrates the potential of its innovative technology to revolutionize the sports nutrition industry.”
More partnerships and programs are in development, which includes VINIA being added to the NFL pre-season training regimens of over 140 players.
The company holds 15 approved patents covering its unique process and compositions. Additionally, the team’s accumulated know-how from 15 years of research and development further strengthens its position as a leader in the field.
“BioHarvest’s technology is poised to make a big difference in the health and wellness industry by availing patentable botanical compositions for therapeutic purposes that can be in the form of nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals,” Sobel explains.
He says BioHarvest aims to lead the botanical synthesis revolution by utilizing the power of plants to improve human wellness while at the same time prioritizing environmental sustainability, which is evident in the company’s plans to leverage its expertise in research and development, manufacturing and commercialization.
BioHarvest is already working on expanding its product line to include additional products, with olive and pomegranate cell banks at the advanced development stage. A robust clinical trial program is underway, as the company tests product impact against specific medical indications. These clinical studies are designed to not only potentially augment the functional claims for different products but also to further the potential for those products to ultimately be included in pharmaceuticals, as either approved drugs or adjuncts to approved drugs.
This story was featured in Canadian Securities Exchange Magazine.
Learn more about BioHarvest Sciences at https://bioharvest.com/