22nd Century Group Inc., a plant biotechnology company focused on proprietary technology that decreases or increases the level of nicotine in the tobacco plant, today announced that it has completed a merger with 22nd Century Limited, LLC, a company focused on the development of a prescription smoking-cessation aid and tobacco harm reduction products.

Effective yesterday, 22nd Century Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of 22nd Century Group.

Immediately prior to the merger, 22nd Century Limited completed a private placement of approximately $5.4 million of securities to accredited investors, exchanged in the merger for common stock and warrants of 22nd Century Group. A portion of the proceeds will be used to commence a phase II-B clinical trial for 22nd Century’s prescription smoking cessation aid, X-22, as well as to an exposure study for one of its two modified risk tobacco product candidates.

The X-22 smoking cessation aid consists of very low nicotine (VLN) cigarettes made from 22nd Century’s patented tobacco, which contains approximately 95% less nicotine compared to the tobacco found in even “light” cigarettes.

Independent studies, as well as phase II clinical trials, have shown that VLN cigarettes made from 22nd Century’s patented tobacco assist users in kicking the habit by satisfying their cravings for cigarettes. The VLN cigarettes greatly reduce nicotine exposure and nicotine dependence, and eliminate the association between the act of smoking and the rapid delivery of nicotine.

Joseph Pandolfino, founder and CEO of 22nd Century Limited said his company is supplying a solution to a worldwide unmet need.

“Leading smoking-cessation researchers have achieved very promising results in independent studies using cigarettes containing our patented VLN tobacco. There is a large unmet medical need on a global scale for an effective smoking cessation product that is acceptable to smokers without the side effects of currently approved products,” Pandolfino stated.