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REF NO.: 54

SUBJECT: Genesis client Unbound Chemicals achieves major milestone for recycling unused medication

DATE: Aug. 19

Every year, billions of pills and tablets go unused across Canada.

UnBound Chemicals is developing a comprehensive recycling program to transform pharmaceutical waste into ingredients needed by the pharmaceutical industry.

By collecting, sorting, extracting and repurposing the valuable ingredients inside unused and expired medication, the company is unlocking value from pharmaceutical waste. Active ingredients

Last month, the St. John’s-based startup achieved a major milestone in its laboratory research. The company successfully extracted the active ingredient trimipramine from pills that expired in 2018. UnBound’s research revealed that inactive ingredients in medicine expire first, but active ingredients can remain stable for up to 15 years. If active ingredients can be successfully separated from the other ingredients, they can be reused in new medication.

Chemists working with the company extracted the active ingredient with 99.98 per cent purity, well beyond their original target. 'Validates the science'

“We didn’t expect to get to this level of purity until November,” said Blaine Edwards, founder and chief executive officer, Unbound Chemicals. “To hit that level of purity so early validates the science behind our business model and demonstrates the quality of our team.” UnBound Chemicals will sell the extracted chemicals to the research market while it continues to research extraction methods on other medication. Memorial University researchers have already expressed interest in using the extracted trimipramine in their laboratories.

The project is a collaboration between UnBound Chemicals and Memorial University’s Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, which was facilitated by Mitacs, a federal non-profit organization dedicated to innovative research.

About UnBound Chemicals Unbound Chemicals is developing the process and technology to become the world's leaders in medication ingredient recovery. They envision a comprehensive pharmaceutical waste recovery program running in every pharmacy, hospital and clinic around the world, redirecting high value medical ingredients from the incinerator back to researchers and manufacturers. 

About Genesis Genesis helps build amazing companies. As Newfoundland and Labrador’s pre-eminent innovation hub, Genesis is known for its flagship incubator program, Enterprise, that began more than 20 years ago. Since its inception, Genesis expanded its programming to support startups from the ideation stage all the way to scaling their business. Genesis’ mission is to create economic wealth for the province by developing and supporting technology entrepreneurs.

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For more information, please contact Blaine Edwards at, 709-746-9592 or; or Annagray Campbell, marketing and communications advisor, Genesis, at or


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