Joins as the Company Holds Second-Closing on Series A Funding, Gearing Up for Significant Growth
BOULDER, CO / ACCESSWIRE / MARCH 2, 2020 / KelSie Biotech appointed senior cannabis entrepreneur, Ben Kaanta, as its CEO after an extensive search. Kaanta will lead the growth of Kelsie’s science platform and product lines, including the SUM Microdose brand, a rapid-dissolving sublingual tablet. The company also plans to leverage its patented water-soluble, rapid-onset technology in the broader Pharma and CBD market through strategic partnerships.
Kaanta joins Kelsie Biotech from Westleaf, one of the few truly vertically integrated cannabis companies, including one of the world’s largest extraction facilities, a world class cultivation facility, and multiple retail locations in Canada.
With a foundation in mechanical engineering and a stint with NASA, Kaanta began his career in healthcare services in the fields of flow cytometry, cancer diagnosis, and proton therapy treatment. He entered the cannabis industry in 2015 as director of operations for MJardin, the world’s largest legal cannabis cultivation management company. From there, he co-founded Arete Ops in Denver, specializing in operations execution of cannabis businesses. Arete Ops merged with Westleaf in 2018 and Kaanta became Westleaf’s chief operating officer.
The move to Kelsie Biotech leverages Kaanta’s passion for healthcare and the powerful role cannabis plays in wellness. “When I met Kelsie,” notes Kaanta, “I found a talented team with unique intellectual property, products, and an approach to wellness that delivers science through positive consumer experience.” SUM Microdose, for example, commercializes Kelsie’s patented water-soluble technology in a manner that replaces edibles (where cannabinoids such as CBD are diminished as they slowly metabolize through the GI tract) and oils (that poorly absorb and taste like medicine).
Jeffrey Howard, a principal at Salveo Capital which led Kelsie’s recent funding, had this to say: “After a thorough and lengthy CEO search, we couldn’t be more delighted to bring Ben in to lead the team at KelSie Biotech. As KelSie’s SUM Microdose product line continues its aggressive expansion, Ben’s executive-level cannabis experience and existing operational skillset are ideal for this phase of KelSie’s growth.”
The people of Kelsie Biotech are passionate to make the delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) more effective, safer, and less invasive. Whether licensing its patented technology to pharmaceutical companies or to operating partners in the CBD/cannabis space, KelSie pioneers highly bioavailable delivery methods with a wide range of applications.
KelSie’s backstory comes from science beyond cannabis. Its patented micro-powder was first developed thanks to a $20M Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to revolutionize measles vaccine delivery. The recipient of that grant, Dr. Robert Sievers, developed a replacement for expensive, needle-based, perishable vaccines in developing countries. After his dry-inhaled powder technology successfully completed Phase I Clinical Trials for delivery of a stable measles vaccine, Dr. Sievers focused his patented superior drug delivery methods to other active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). A group of scientists and researchers gathered around Dr. Sievers to create KelSie Biotech.
KelSie Biotech’s patented and proprietary technologies are based on novel particle morphology science and include dry-inhaled powder and true sublingual delivery systems. KelSie creates high bioavailability delivery methods for active pharmaceutical ingredients in the medical, nutraceutical, and CBD/cannabis fields.
About Salveo Capital
Launched at the end of 2016, Salveo Capital is a venture capital firm specializing in the legalized cannabis space, making investments across the entire cannabis supply chain. Salveo Capital’s approach is to bring an institutional quality discipline to company vetting, investment structures and portfolio management. The Firm is committed to shaping the early-stage, yet rapidly growing, industry by providing funding and development to companies with the will and vision to be the pioneers of legalized marijuana. As cannabis legalization spreads, Salveo Capital seeks to build long term sustainable companies and support innovative technologies, products and services to help address the unique requirements of the industry. The firm is based in Northbrook, Illinois, and with vertical industry executives and cannabis operating advisors across the country, including key markets of California and Colorado. For more information, please visit www.salveocapital.com.
SUM stands for Superior Uptake Microdose and is a sublingual tablet that dissolves under your tongue in less than a minute, going right to the bloodstream. SUM is rapidly replacing edibles (where CBD is greatly diminished in the slow digestive process) and oil/tinctures (which offer poor absorption and off-putting taste).
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SOURCE: Kelsie Biotech
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