Calyxt, Inc., a plant-based synthetic biotechnology company, announced a new strategic direction to provide sustainably produced plant-based synthetic biology solutions. The goal is to expand the group of end markets and diversified base of customers, taking advantage of its proprietary PlantSpring Technology Platform and BioFactory Production System, which together will enable Calyxt to prototype and produce complex plant-derived compounds more efficiently, without the need for outdoor cropping systems.
According to the press release on its website “Calyxt’s technology platform, PlantSpring, is founded on the Company’s more than a decade of experience engineering plant metabolism, and includes its scientific knowledge, its proprietary systems, tools, and technologies; and an expanding set of AIML capabilities. (…). The process includes identification of breakthrough compounds based on customer needs, design strategies to reprogram host cells, engineering of plant cell metabolism to optimally produce targeted plant-based chemistries, and production of those target chemistries at laboratory scale. (…). The output from the PlantSpring platform integrates with the Company’s newly commissioned BioFactory production system.
“The BioFactory production system is the culmination of the work of Calyxt’s researchers and will enable the Company to expand its production methods from solely outdoor agriculture systems to also include controlled environment, bioreactor-based production systems. The BioFactory harnesses the potential of plant cells in a multicellular matrixed structure and utilizes nutrient media for its production. The BioFactory leverages multiple cell types, and the multicellular matrix structures enable processing of plant-based chemistries of increased complexity relative to those possible using traditional fermentation systems or single cell plant culture methods. (…) As a result, Calyxt’s production system is capable of unlocking the power of plants to produce complex compounds that are finite, difficult to source sustainably, and that may not be able to be produced using other production methods. Calyxt has been running lab-scale bioreactors for several months and its first pilot-scale bioreactor has been commissioned and is expected to be online by the end of 2021. (…). For transition from pilot to commercialization, the Company’s current plan is to use third parties, referred to as infrastructure partners, for at-scale BioFactory production.”
The expanded group of end markets that Calyxt hopes to reach includes the nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, pharmaceutical, advanced materials, and chemicals industries.
Recently, Calyxt also appointed IBM’s Global Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, Dr. Seth Dobrin, to Calyxt’s Scientific Advisory Board, launched a $50 million at-the-market share issuance program, entered into a research collaboration with a leading global food ingredient manufacturer based in Asia to develop an improved soybean capable of producing an oil as a sustainable commercial alternative to palm oil; and sold nearly all the 2020 grain crop to Archer Daniels Midland, rounding up to $35.7 million in total cash since sales began in the last semester of 2020.