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Calyxt Switches Gears Again, But The Cash Clock Keeps Ticking Down

Apr. 01, 2022 2:18 AM ETCibus, Inc. (CBUS) Stock9 Comments
Stephen Simpson profile picture
Stephen Simpson


  • Calyxt is now on to its third business plan, pivoting from gene-edited seed traits to synthetic biology.
  • The company is looking to produce molecules of interest to pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmeceutical companies through sustainable plant-based technology.
  • The underlying science is sound enough, but management has to prove that they can do this at sustainable commercial levels and that they can attract meaningful commercial partners.
  • Calyxt should have enough cash to complete proof-of-concept pilot-stage efforts, but the stock is speculative and very risky without meaningful commercial partnerships and funding.
Fermenting the finest ale

Yuri_Arcurs/iStock via Getty Images

Writing about Calyxt (CLXT) in the past, my concern was never whether the company’s core TALEN gene editing technology (licensed from Cellectis (CLLS)) worked, whether it could work in agriculture, or whether it could develop credible modified

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Stephen Simpson profile picture
Stephen Simpson is a freelance financial writer and investor.Spent close to 15 years on the Street (sell-side, buy-side, equities, bonds).

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, and no plans to initiate any such positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Comments (9)

The one saving grace may be their majority owner, who is unlikely to let them fail.
Stephen Simpson profile picture
@Beachdoc Wouldn't bet on that. CLLS has about $185M in cash and is burning more than $100M/yr. They're not in a position to save Calyxt
@Stephen Simpson They should try to sell it all to Bayer, seems Choulika failed to scale it
I agree with you that the key issues are the processing, yields and costs associated with these activities. Calyxt will likely target high value molecules that are in-demand at low volumes to prove the production platform. The entire synthetic biology industry has similar challenges. Hopefully, Calyxt can enter into partnerships with quality companies as several big players have invested in the space inside and outside their organizations.
Stephen Simpson profile picture
@bill2019 Totally agree - high-val/low-vol is the way to go. I just don't know that they're going to be able to keep the lights on long enough. If you were on the other side of the table (the pharma/nutra/food company), you'd be pretty cautious about putting up all that much cash given their circumstances.
They should search for M&A or partnership with a major...
bluescorpion0 profile picture
It has just happened today. Selling out for 5% stake in a new/bigger venture Cibus.
@scorpionblue Are you bullish on this deal?
bluescorpion0 profile picture
Mixed feelings in gene edited foods after lots of reading. EU still holding out..but gmwatch.org/...
Cibus did something unethical here. So I don't know if management is an issue.
Other than that, I believe synbio in Food is iffy. Food is very personal. People right or wrong are paranoid what they put in their bodies these days. making fake silk seems more harmless...or a biofuel...nobody cares. Having said that I understand the majority view you can't tell a random mutation from a single base edit man-made mutation easily. The question I am skeptical is if there are big profits here. Some of this is even public domain and is or will be very competitive. Corteva is doing similar stuff.
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