Calyxt, Inc. has announced that its BioFactory pilot production system, installed in late December 2021, is now operational at its head office in Minnesota.
“I am proud of the efforts made by our team and our suppliers to reach this milestone on time, as it marks an important step in increasing our production. The data we collect and analyze will guide future decisions and help improve our test cycles and development schedule, ”said Michael A. Carr, President and CEO of Calyxt. “We are encouraged by the number of inbound calls from potential customers regarding our technology and the quality of our conversations. We are seeking customer orders of two to four compounds for development by the end of 2022, and therefore we use our selection criteria to determine which compounds to pursue based on customer needs. We look forward to providing further updates on our continued evolution and customer acquisition throughout the year. “
On October 5, 2021, Calyxt announced the launch of a strategic initiative that has focused the Company on engineering synthetic biology solutions for a diverse customer base using its extensive proprietary PlantSpring technology platform. PlantSpring’s output is integrated with the company’s BioFactory production system, allowing Calyxt to rapidly prototype and produce complex plant-derived compounds without the need for outdoor growing systems.
Calyxt’s proprietary plant cell matrix systems have been placed in the BioFactory, where they will be used for pilot scale testing. The pilot is currently in its testing period, during which the Company will ensure that the system, including its data generation and communication capabilities for artificial intelligence modeling, perform as expected. This is a key step in understanding the scalability of the BioFactory production system.
Calyxt’s technology platform, PlantSpring, is founded on more than a decade of experience in engineering plant metabolism and includes its scientific knowledge, proprietary systems, tools and technologies; and a growing set of AIML capabilities. This licensed platform offers innovation through an efficient development process. The process includes identifying breakthrough compounds based on customer needs, designing strategies to reprogram host cells, engineering plant cell metabolism to optimally produce targeted plant-based chemistries, and production of these target chemistries on a laboratory scale. Calyxt has developed early stage AIML capabilities in PlantSpring, which enable learning and adaptation of knowledge gained from past activities and can be combined with predictive analytics to rapidly prototype and provide feedback, speeding up the time needed to complete the design-engineer-check development cycle and help mitigate the risk associated with commercial scale-up. As a result, Calyxt believes it can develop biomolecules in plants for its customers at faster rates than its competitors in the synthetic biology industry. The release of 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 researchers and will allow the company to expand its production methods from outdoor-only farming systems to also include production systems based on bioreactors at controlled environment. The BioFactory harnesses the potential of plant cells in a multicellular matrix structure and uses nutrient media for its production. The BioFactory harnesses multiple cell types and the multicellular matrix structures allow the processing of plant chemistries of increased complexity compared to those possible using traditional fermentation systems or single cell plant culture methods. In addition, the rate of growth of the matrix over time should accelerate the production of the compound on a large scale. As a result, Calyxt’s production system is able to unleash the power of plants to produce complex compounds that are finite, difficult to source sustainably, and which may not be able to be produced using other production methods. Calyxt has been operating 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. There may be a range of vessel sizes. between the initial pilot installation and commercial production. For the transition from pilot to commercialization, the Company’s current plan is to use third parties, known as infrastructure partners, for the large-scale production of BioFactory. Due to its production methodology, Calyxt believes the BioFactory has the potential to be one of the most sustainable production systems in all industries.