Calyxt Inc., a New Brighton-based gene-editing agricultural company with roots at the University of Minnesota, has filed for an initial public offering that could raise $50 million.
Calyxt aims to make genetically modified crops for consumers and farmers using technology developed at a French gene-editing company, Cellectis SA, and the U.
The company's TALEN technology uses "molecular scissors" to create desirable traits and does not add foreign DNA during the process, Calyxt said in its filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company's chief science officer is Dan Voytas, a professor in the U's Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development who is one of the inventors of TALEN.
Calyxt promotes its technology as a faster, more efficient way of developing food ingredients for consumers. The first products the company is expected to produce include a high oleic soybean that would produce a healthier soybean oil with zero trans fats and reduced saturated fats; a higher fiber wheat; and a herbicide-tolerant wheat.
Calyxt is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Paris-based Cellectis. The filing with the SEC does not indicate how many shares or what percentage of the company Cellectis will be offering, but the French company is expected to retain majority ownership of Calyxt.
Proceeds of the offering would be used for research and development on Calyxt's existing products under development; building a sales force to build commercial relationships with supply chain and food companies; and working capital for seed and seed oil production and grain purchases.
Calyxt is a development state company with limited revenue.
In February 2016, Calyxt agreed to a deal with the city of Roseville to build a corporate headquarters and up to 5 acres of agricultural test plots on a former industrial site near Interstate 35W.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development approved a $477,000 grant from its Job Creation Fund for the new headquarters, a 6,000-square-foot greenhouse and test plots.
Calyxt, which has 27 employees, has said it could eventually employ 100 people at the Roseville location.
For its contribution to the development of Calyxt, the University of Minnesota has received compensation from Cellectis and has a royalty-based license agreement for any future revenue.
Three other recent gene-modification companies also have roots at the University of Minnesota: St. Paul-based Recombinetics Inc. (livestock), Minneapolis-based B-MoGen Biotechnologies Inc. (human diseases and genetics) and Seattle-based ApoGen Biotechnologies Inc. (cancer drug discovery).
If Calyxt's IPO goes through, it would be the third company to go public in Minnesota over the past year.
Grand Rapids-based ASV Holdings Inc., a maker of skid steer and compact track loaders, completed its second IPO on May 12, raising about $26.6 million.
ASV also was a public company from 1984 to 2008, when it was acquired by Terex Corp.
Medical device company Tactile Systems Technology raised $40 million on July 27, 2016.