Despite the increased eyes and interest on the company, many XXII investors are completely unaware what the company's intellectual property portfolio is comprised of. Yes, 22nd Century Group has revenues. Yes, 22nd Century Group has enough cash on hand to operate and continue R&D for the foreseeable future. But what we're focused on today are some of the most valuable patents that 22nd Century has been awarded.
Since these patents make up a large portion of the company's existing and future value, we figured we would highlight 4 of them that any investor can dig into themselves:
This patent essentially relates to specific nucleic acid sequences that encode "N-methylputrescine oxidase" and to methods for their use in altering alkaloid production in plants, particularly but not exclusively nicotine production in a tobacco plant and more.
This plant alkaloid alteration patent is highly valuable because for example, nicotine may have utility for increasing cognitive function and is used in nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Also, plant-derived tropane alkaloids are important for various drugs. Cocaine for instance is a medically accepted local anesthetic. These compounds are then isolated from plant sources for use as pharmaceutical drugs.
From nicotine to cocaine, we believe this patent to have broad protections and even broader applications. If you don't think 22nd Century has any idea of this patent's applications for cocaine - just read through their patent here where they mention it specifically.
Patent US9157090B2: "Nucleic acid sequences encoding transcription factors regulating alkaloid biosynthesis and their use in modifying plant metabolism"
Relating to the patent above, this invention relates to nucleic acid sequences that "encode transcription factors" that regulate alkaloid production in plants, particularly but not exclusively nicotinic alkaloid production in a tobacco plant, and for producing modified plants and cells with altered alkaloid content.
"Plant metabolism and alkaloid levels can be regulated by transcription factors that regulate the nicotinic alkaloid biosynthetic pathway. In one embodiment, the disclosure provides a transcription factor that negatively regulates alkaloid biosynthesis, such as nicotine biosynthesis."
Once again, from nicotine to cocaine, we believe this patent to have broad protections and even broader applications.
Once again, this patent relates to methodology and constructs for reducing nicotinic alkaloids in a plant, particularly but not exclusively in a tobacco plant.
"Two genes, A622 and NBB1, can be influenced to achieve a decrease of nicotinic alkaloid levels in plants. In particular, suppression of one or both of A622 and NBB1 may be used to decrease nicotine in tobacco plants."
Once again related to the above patents, this patent is classified as "viral induced gene silencing," for regulating alkaloid content in a plant, particularly but not exclusively nicotinic alkaloids in a tobacco plant.
Combined, these 4 patents give 22nd Century a near monopoly on this entire scientific concept, process, and method as it relates to numerous plants. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to 22nd Group's intellectual property portfolio. When you do your research on the rest of them, be sure to polish up on your molecular biology and legalese. Upon further look at these patents, it is easy to see the potential upside for the company in the near future.
Whether you are currently invested in 22nd Century Group, considering it, or just looking to understand the plant biotech space, everyone should do more due diligence and take a dive into their patent portfolio. Patents are public because how else would other companies avoid infringing upon them, so head on over to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website and dig a little.