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Calyxt promotes current director and biotechnology exec Yves Ribeill to chairman

Ribeill replaces outgoing chairman and co-founder André Choulika, who is stepping aside to focus on the clinical development activities of Cellectis, Calyxt’s parent company

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The change in board leadership comes as the company is utilizing its TALEN gene-editing technology to develop novel crops

Calyxt Inc (NASDAQ:CLXT), a plant-based technology company, has named board member Yves Ribeill as its new chairman, replacing the outgoing André Choulika.

Ribeill founded the biotechnology company SCYNEXIS Inc (NASDAQ:SCYX) and served as its CEO from 1999 to 2015. He currently heads Ribogenics Inc, an early stage R&D company. All told, he brings more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry with an expertise in anti-infective diseases, including bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitical and other types.

Before moving to the United States 23 years ago, Ribeill held management positions with Rhône-Poulenc and Aventis in France and in the UK. He was also a member of the World Health Organization’s Scientific Advisory Committee and involved with the Medicines for Malaria Venture. 

READ: Calyxt gets boost from US Department of Agriculture ruling on its new soybean product candidate

Ribeill replaces outgoing Chairman and co-founder André Choulika, who is stepping aside to focus on the clinical development activities of Cellectis, Calyxt’s parent company.

“On behalf of the Calyxt board of directors, I would like to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for André’s guidance and commitment to Calyxt’s success over the past decade,” Ribeill said in a statement. “Under André’s leadership over the last ten years, Calyxt has demonstrated its ability to invent, develop, market, and supply a gene-edited crop, starting with its first high oleic soybean...I’m honored and excited to guide Calyxt in its next development phase and hope we can continue the legacy André established for us.”

Choulika, for his part, said the company is in good hands going forward. 

“As co-founder of Calyxt in 2010, I am so proud of this team and the incredible company that we have built,” Choulika said. “Calyxt is now a publicly listed company, with an impressive product pipeline, that commercialized for the very first time a healthier gene-edited food product to benefit consumers, and is at a pivotal stage. Cellectis, from which Calyxt originally started as Cellectis Plant Sciences, is now at a turning point where it requires my utmost focus and attention.”

The change in board leadership comes as the company is utilizing its TALEN gene-editing technology to develop novel crops.

“André has consistently made impactful contributions to Calyxt and has provided expert guidance to our company, especially in the area of research, strategic corporate and business development,” CEO Jim Blome said. “Yves’s appointment as chairman comes at a very important time in the maturation of our company, as we advance our pipeline of novel high-value crops to address the world’s challenges. We are looking forward to Yves’s insightful contributions.”

Additionally, Calyxt appointed Laurent Arthaud, a member of Cellectis’ board of directors since 2011, to its own board. Arthaud was designated by Cellectis to serve on the board as part of an existing stockholders agreement between the companies. Cellectis owns nearly 69% of Calyxt shares, the company said. 

Arthaud has served as managing director of Life Sciences and Ecotechnologies for Bpifrance Investissement, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts, since 2012.

“I’m honored to join the board of directors at Calyxt and to support the impressive team that CEO Jim Blome has built,” Arthaud said. “I’m confident the company will continue to build significant value for its stakeholders”

Contact Andrew Kessel at andrew.kessel@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

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Price: 5.49 USD

NASDAQ:CLXT
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $182.18 m
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