New York (N.Y.) -- Cellectis (Euronext Growth: ALCLS; Nasdaq: CLLS) - Andre Choulika, Ph.D., Cellectis' Chairman and CEO, announces that he will focus all his energy on Cellectis' development activities, and thus, announces his retirement from Calyxt's Board of Directors, effective immediately. Calyxt's Board of Directors has appointed Yves Ribeill, Ph.D., currently a Calyxt Board member, as Chairman, effective immediately. Additionally, Calyxt's Board of Directors appointed Laurent Arthaud, Cellectis' Board member, as a Cellectis designated Director, effective immediately.
"Back in March 2010, Cellectis started Cellectis Plant Sciences, now Calyxt. I'm very proud of this amazing journey, which was brought to fruition by using our leading-edge TALEN® technology to bring healthier, more sustainable products to market. Tens of thousands of acres have been planted with Calyxt seeds across multiple states, and this is just the beginning. Calyxt is at a pivotal stage in its growth, and at a point of maturity that requires deep commitment to reach the next development steps," said Andre Choulika, co-founder, Chairman and CEO, Cellectis.
Dr. Choulika continues, "At the same time, Cellectis is at a critical turning point with very promising programs in development. We have ongoing clinical trials and more product candidates in preclinical development. It is for this reason that I have decided to focus 100% of my energy on Cellectis moving forward. My focus cannot be divided. I am confident that with Yves Ribeill's guidance, in close collaboration with Jim Blome, Calyxt's CEO, the company will continue to provide plant-based solutions to the world."
Andre Choulika has been the co-founder and Chairman of Calyxt (previously Cellectis Plant Sciences) since 2010. At the inception of the company, a small team of disruptive scientists, led by Prof. Dan Voytas, decided to implement their vision to harness the potential of plants. Ten years later, Calyxt is 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.
"On behalf of the Calyxt Board of Directors, I would like to warmly thank Andre for his guidance, his vision and commitment to Calyxt's success over the past decade," added Yves Ribeill. "With its first high oleic soybean product, Calyxt has demonstrated its ability to invent, develop, market, and supply a gene-edited crop on a large scale. Now, we are uniquely positioned to address agricultural challenges linked to climate change and the environment as well as to bring high-value and innovative health and nutrition products to consumers. I'm honored and excited to guide Calyxt in its next development phase."
Yves Joseph Ribeill, Ph.D., founded SCYNEXIS, Inc (NASDAQ: SCYX) and served as President and CEO from 1999 to 2015. Dr. Ribeill has more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry, with an expertise in anti-infective diseases including bacterial, fungal, viral and parasiticidal and in microbiome-centric diseases. Prior to moving to the U.S. 23 years ago, Dr. Ribeill held several management positions during his international career with Rhone-Poulenc and Aventis in France and in the UK. Dr. Ribeill was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the World Health Organization, the Medicines for Malaria Venture and is currently the CEO of Ribogenics, Inc., an early stage R&D company.
In addition, the Calyxt Board of Directors appointed Laurent Arthaud, a member of Cellectis' Board of Directors since 2011, as Director. Mr. Arthaud was designated to serve as a director by Cellectis, Calyxt's parent company, pursuant to an existing Stockholders Agreement between Calyxt and Cellectis. Cellectis holds 68.9% of Calyxt shares as of December 31, 2019. Mr. Arthaud served as a member of Calyxt's Board of Directors until May 2019 and is a member of Cellectis' Board of Directors since 2011. Mr. Arthaud has been the Managing Director of Life Sciences and Ecotechnologies for Bpifrance Investissement (formerly CDC Enterprises, a subsidiary of Caisse des Depots) 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. I'm confident the company will continue to build significant value for its stakeholders," Laurent Arthaud added.