22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCQB: XXII) today announced that its subsidiary, 22nd Century Limited, LLC, and British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco plc (LSE: BATS; NYSE MKT: BTI), have signed a worldwide research license agreement (the “Agreement”) granting BAT access to 22nd Century’s patented technology which alters levels of nicotinic alkaloids in tobacco plants.
The Agreement grants British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited and all other affiliates of British American Tobacco plc (collectively, “BAT”) rights to three of 22nd Century’s patent families encompassing a cumulative of 28 patents and patent applications in various countries and regions and an option to enter into a worldwide commercial license with 22nd Century. 22nd Century Group and its affiliates retain worldwide rights to the technology and patents licensed to BAT for use worldwide in 22nd Century’s products and brands.
The research term of the Agreement is for a period of up to four years during which time 22nd Century and BAT will collaborate on research efforts to further develop the subject technology. Pursuant to the Agreement, BAT can exercise its option to enter into a worldwide royalty-bearing commercial license (the “License”) at any time during the research term. If the option is exercised, the Agreement would terminate and would be replaced by the License, which would extend to at least the year 2028, unless sooner terminated by either of the parties.
Simultaneous with the signing of the Agreement, BAT is making an upfront payment of $7 million to 22nd Century. Pursuant to the Agreement, BAT is also agreeing to pay to 22nd Century up to an additional $7 million during the course of the research term upon the completion of certain development milestones.“This partnership with British American Tobacco, which sells product in approximately 180 countries, represents 22nd Century’s greatest growth milestone to date and an important step in the development of 22nd Century’s next generation tobacco products. BAT has always been our first choice as a partner,” stated Joseph Pandolfino, 22nd Century’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer.