22nd Century Group Inc. is a biotechnology company that specializes in plant-based genetic engineering and tobacco harm reduction products. The company was founded in 1998 in Williamsville, New York, by Joseph Pandolfino and Dr. Paul J. Rushton. Originally named "Clonetics Corporation," the company later changed its name to 22nd Century Group Inc. in 2005 to reflect its mission of developing technologies to control the level of nicotine in tobacco plants.
The core focus of 22nd Century Group is to develop modified tobacco plants with reduced levels of nicotine. The company's proprietary technology, known as "Very Low Nicotine" (VLN) tobacco, allows them to manipulate the nicotine content in tobacco plants during cultivation. This technology has significant implications for tobacco harm reduction strategies and smoking cessation efforts.
Additionally, the company's genetic engineering capabilities extend beyond tobacco. They have expertise in creating plants with unique qualities, such as increased or decreased levels of specific cannabinoids for medicinal and research purposes. Their research and development activities also involve developing proprietary strains of hemp plants.
The reduced-nicotine tobacco developed by 22nd Century Group has garnered significant attention from regulatory bodies and public health advocates. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shown interest in the potential public health benefits of VLN tobacco and has initiated research and discussions on how such products might help reduce smoking addiction and related health risks.
It's worth noting that 22nd Century Group Inc. operates in a highly regulated industry, and the development and commercialization of new tobacco products are subject to various legal and regulatory requirements. As such, the company must navigate complex and ever-changing regulatory landscapes as it seeks to bring its innovative products to market.