VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - EnWave Corporation (TSX VENTURE:ENW)(FRANKFURT:E4U) ("EnWave" or the "Company") is pleased to provide a corporate update to shareholders regarding the development and testing of its Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV) technology in the medical and food sectors.
The Company has achieved several key milestones on the path towards commercializing its technology platforms. Since the start of the year, EnWave has:
- installed a continuous nutraREV dehydration machine in a commercial blueberry plant to test large-scale production capabilities;
- completed initial bioREV testing with collaboration partner Aridis Pharmaceuticals, LLC of San Jose, California; and,
- initiated the expansion of REV technology into the food cultures market.
EnWave Corporation has developed and is commercializing proprietary technology to dehydrate liquid vaccines, antibodies and food products as an alternative to refrigeration. EnWave's patented REV technology combines microwaves with vacuum pressure to control the temperature at which liquids boil and subsequently evaporate. Liquid evaporation at or below room temperature is a major advancement in drying sensitive organisms that are easily damaged by freezing or boiling.
nutraREV: Commercializing EnWave's Food Drying Technology
In February 2008, EnWave partnered with British Columbia blueberry producer CAL-SAN Enterprises to test EnWave's continuous nutraREV dehydration process. The Company installed a continuous nutraREV unit at CAL-SAN's Richmond plant earlier this year and began testing the machine's ability to dehydrate berries in small quantities and meet acceptable quality standards. Through this collaboration, EnWave plans to demonstrate commercial production rates of 100 kilograms of dried berries per hour, and measure the specific benefits of its technology over other commonly used commercial dehydration techniques, including freeze drying and air drying. Testing is expected to last until Q3, 2008, after which time the Company hopes to finalize its first commercial sale of nutraREV.
bioREV: Aridis Testing Moves Forward
In early March, Aridis Pharmaceuticals, LLC, completed the first testing stage of the single-vial prototype bioREV technology for use as a vaccine and antibody dehydration method. Initial test results indicated bioREV was able to successfully dry live attenuated salmonella typhoid ("Ty21a") and rotavirus vaccines with promising bioactivity retention. However, a residual moisture content in excess of the requirements was identified as a potential limitation for achieving long-term shelf stability. Although shelf-life testing was initiated on Aridis's rotavirus vaccine with excellent short-term results, EnWave and Aridis have now agreed to introduce a number of equipment improvements and new vaccine formulation stabilizers with the goal of reducing the final vaccine moisture from the current range of five to six per cent.
EnWave has budgeted an additional CDN$120,000 to complete process improvements and expand testing at its University of British Columbia lab and the Aridis facility. Once the formulation and processing parameters for the Ty21a and rotavirus vaccines have been finalized (Fall 2008), EnWave will resume development of the next stage of this technology, the "multi-vial" prototype, with Starfish Medical of Victoria, BC. The goal of this design is to dehydrate significantly larger quantities of vaccines and antibodies in sterile vials on a continuous production line. EnWave expects to begin testing the new multi-vial bioREV unit in the second quarter of 2009, and will provide this technology to Aridis to increase the speed with which they can conduct their project.
Once EnWave has obtained feasibility data on the bioREV dehydration process from the Aridis collaboration, the Company will begin approaching larger pharmaceutical companies about future partnership opportunities.
New Frontiers in REV Technology
EnWave is currently developing a third REV technology platform under the brand name powderREV. This platform is being designed to dehydrate food cultures such as probiotics and enzymes into a bulk powder form to be added to food and dietary supplements to improve health and nutritional value.
Commercial-scale dehydration of probiotics and enzymes using powderREV could serve to improve the retention and shelf-life of live material in the end product, and reduce manufacturing and distribution costs for food producers. Additionally, processing active probiotics in a dry format could lead to the development of probiotic-fortified food products currently not on the market, such as dry cereal and snack foods.
Over the next six to eight months, EnWave will be designing, building and testing a powderREV proof-of-concept unit. The Company will also be focusing significant effort in establishing a collaboration with an industry partner to expand testing and support the development of a commercial-scale powderREV offering.
"We believe this will be a key year for EnWave with our focus on selling the first commercial scale nutraREV technology, and proving the process feasibility of our bioREV and powderREV platforms," said John McNicol, President and Co-CEO of EnWave Corporation. "We have already reached several key milestones this year, and look forward to reaching others as we move toward fulfilling our mission of replacing freeze drying as the industry standard."
Using proprietary technologies developed in conjunction with the University of British Columbia, EnWave is focused on the development of new methods of dehydrating biological materials using Radiant Energy Vacuum technology under its bioREV and nutraREV brands. REV technology combines microwave energy transfer with pressure control to dehydrate and alter structures and drive chemical reactions, thereby creating unique product characteristics for both food products and medical applications that include dry vaccines. More information about EnWave is available at www.enwave.net.
John McNicol, President and Co-CEO
Safe Harbour for Forward-Looking Information Statements: This letter may contain forward-looking information based on management's expectations, estimates and projections. All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the Company's strategy for growth, product development, market position, expected expenditures and financial results are forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this letter include: "plans to demonstrate", "expected to last until", "hopes to finalize", "with the goal of", "expects to begin", "will begin", "could serve to", and "could lead to". These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions: there is no guarantee that the Company's technology can or will be used to create commercial-scale products; even if the Company's technology can be used as described in this letter, there is no guarantee that such use will result in orders for the Company's technology.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Dr. Tim Durance
Chairman and Co-CEO
Mr. John McNicol
President and Co-CEO
(604) 806-6112 (FAX)