Calyxt Inc (NASDAQ:CLXT) announced Thursday that it has agreed to commercial terms with S&W Seed Company (NASDAQ:SANW) for the exclusive license of an improved quality alfalfa seed in the US and other select geographies.
In a statement, Calyxt said the deal marks the company’s first commercial trait license agreement and, based on US sales projections, could potentially generate more than $10 million of license revenue over the life of the pending patent for the trait.
Calyxt said it worked in collaboration with Colorado-based S&W to identify quality enhancing traits for a more sustainable alfalfa product with increased bioavailability for livestock. The enhanced trait gives farmers the opportunity to produce alfalfa forage for livestock with improved digestibility, which may lead to greater animal performance.
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The result is higher value alfalfa produced on the same acre with the same inputs, putting greater profitability in the hands of the farmer. The new alfalfa seed will be sold as part of the S&W seed portfolio and branded IQ Alfalfa (IQA).
“This alfalfa launch represents an important milestone in the execution of Calyxt’s three go-to-market strategies,” said Jim Blome, CEO of Calyxt. “It is a great demonstration of Calyxt’s ability to work collaboratively, choose traits to enhance value, do the research to make it happen, and support S&W Seed Company in bringing advanced plant science to market.”
S&W CEO Mark Wong said both companies have evaluated a series of traits in S&W’s industry-leading alfalfa varieties that have the potential to bring higher yields, higher quality, and broader utilization of the crop in animal diets.
“IQ Alfalfa adds unique value to the market as an alternative alfalfa product to the presently available products – it’s a high-quality alfalfa with a strong yield that delivers benefits to growers as well as the dairy and cattle industries,” Wong added.
S&W will work with alfalfa researchers on yield and animal performance through proof of concept and field trials. There will also be demonstration trials in key regions in 2021 to show IQ Alfalfa’s attributes and value creation for growers.
S&W’s Alfalfa Portfolio includes market-leading proprietary alfalfa seed varieties: Multiple disease tolerance, High Yield, Salt Tolerance, Leafhopper Resistance, Stem Nematode Resistance, and Aphid Resistance. S&W markets its alfalfa in the US as Alfalfa Partners brand.
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