Lundabolaget Carbiotix meddelade nyligen både en ny partner i sitt LinkGut-nätverk och att man kommer att producera sina prebiotiska modulatorer på FoodHills anläggning i Bjuv. Under december har Carbiotix vd Kristofer Cook valt att öka sitt aktieinnehav i bolaget, BioStock kontaktade honom för en kommentar.
Tarmhälsobolaget Carbiotix, har under året skaffat sig ett allt större partnernätverk kring sin diagnostiktjänst LinkGut och sina avancerade tarmhälsotester. Den senaste partnern att ansluta var brittiska MWELL, som ägs av Kellogg Europe.
Bolaget har även sjösatt planer på att bygga upp en storskalig produktionskapacitet avseende de egenutvecklade fibrerna som innehåller AXOS, nästa generation av prebiotiska modulatorer. Anläggningen kommer att ligga i FoodHills lokaler i Bjuv. Läs mer om de senaste nyheterna här.
Kristofer Cook ökar sitt innehav
Under tisdagen meddelades marknaden att Carbiotix vd Kristofer Cook ökat sitt aktieinnehav till totalt 2,18 miljoner aktier och är tillsammans med medgrundaren och styrelseordföranden Peter Falck bolagets största ägare.
Under perioden 10 till 15 december köpte Kristofer Cooks bolag Sustainable Holding Sweden 155 000 aktier till en volymvägd genomsnittskurs om 5,51 kr per aktie, vilket innebar en investering om cirka 854 000 kr. Carbiotix aktie handlas för närvarande i cirka 6,85 kr.
Med anledning av det senaste aktieköpet, kontaktade BioStock Kristofer Cook för en kommentar.
Kristofer, as an entrepreneur, you have founded businesses and made exits, and you are still an active owner of other enterprises. Can you tell us a little about that and how can you use your experience to benefit Carbiotix?
– Although some people are aware that I have started previous companies, most are not aware that I have been active in the start-up world for more than 20 years, helping to start well over 10 companies during this period. For example in 2014 I helped co-found Bioextrax, a company that recently went public and has performed very well. I more recently co-founded Viraspec earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This company developed a quick saliva-based antigen test in record time and was acquired by AegirBio only after 6 months, from my perspective the perfect company to take this technology to the next level.
– Going forward, while I am fully dedicated to Carbiotix as my only operational position, I have forged strong collaborations with key partners and investor networks in Sweden and abroad. This has allowed me to continue to identify, invest in and advise new start-ups, leveraging the networks and knowledge I have built up over the past 20 years. I am of course actively leveraging this knowledge every day at Carbiotix with regards to business development, finance, stakeholder relations and more. This is something that would not have been possible without this history or my continued involvement in new projects.
– In terms of 10 key lessons learned during this period that I try to apply every day at Carbiotix, they include : 1) always listen to customers and partners, 2) a minimum viable product is a great start, 3) pivot until you gain traction, 4) “skate to where the puck is going to be”, 5) embrace continuous improvement, 6) constantly search for great people, 7) focus on long term value creation, 8) aim to minimise future regrets, 9) keep a high moral and ethical standing, and 10) just get things done.
»The company is much more laser-focused, has the potential to reach the market sooner across all business areas, and capture substantially more value within several multi-billion Euro markets. I am extremely proud of the entire Carbiotix team and the efforts made over the past year to make this epic transformation happen.«
What is the main difference between Carbiotix today compared to the company a year ago?
– While Carbiotix has essentially stayed within its IPO trading range over the past year, during this same period the company has significantly transformed its strategy, offering, and competitive position. For example, from targeting two primary therapeutics at an early stage, selling a single sample direct-to-consumer gut health test, and having a plan to license its AXOS technology at the time of its IPO, the company now targets the development of multiple co-treatments with partners, will introduce co-intervention medical foods, offers the most competitive gut health test in the world today as a white label service, and will have full control of the scale-up of its AXOS prebiotic and consequently will capture a majority of gross margins.
– Thus, the company is much more laser-focused, has the potential to reach the market sooner across all business areas, and capture substantially more value within several multi-billion Euro markets. I am extremely proud of the entire Carbiotix team and the efforts made over the past year to make this epic transformation happen.
»I am not only excited about the already stated developments in the next 1-3 years, but I truly believe that the long-term prospects of the company 5-10 years outlook very promising. It is within this timeframe that the strategic building blocks we are laying today will bear most fruit and hopefully provide a very attractive return for long-term investors.«
Can you provide some more insights as to why at this time you decided to increase your holding in Carbiotix?
– If one simply looks at the average value of comparable early-stage companies as listed on page 16 of BioStock’s recent status report, there is a considerable divergence when compared to the value of Carbiotix today. For example, these companies are valued at over 20 times Carbiotix’s current market value when factoring in all four business areas together. Thus, one can conclude that either the market has not yet understood the potential of Carbiotix across all business areas or it has substantially overvalued all of these comparable companies.
– Therefore, based on market comparables, and as long as this valuation divergence exists to the degree it does, increasing my position in Carbiotix over time when I can, simply makes sense from an investment perspective. I hope however that by increasing my position in Carbiotix the market interprets this as a vote of confidence in the company.
– I am not only excited about the already stated developments in the next 1-3 years, but I truly believe that the long-term prospects of the company 5-10 years outlook very promising. It is within this timeframe that the strategic building blocks we are laying today will bear most fruit and hopefully provide a very attractive return for long-term investors.
Looking forward, you will soon be setting up production facilities in Bjuv with healthy gross margins, when will you we be able to generate sales at a significant rate?
– While we are very aggressive with our scale-up plan, we also want to limit the mistakes made along the way. As we have communicated, our planned 10 ton plant that will be operational in Q2 of 2021 will provide expansion room to grow to 100 tons by 2022. Thereafter, FoodHills has room for further capacity expansion as demand from the market grows. In the short term, we plan to provide samples and start sales already in 2021, however this site will be our primary production site for nutraceutical, medical food and pharma grade AXOS in the medium to long term as we scale up. It will be these products that provide the highest margins and thus we want full control of the production and sales of these products.
– For our food grade AXOS ingredient, our plan is to already initiate discussions with potential partners when our first site is operational. With this AXOS ingredient, we need to build a site that is close to both raw materials and customers to ensure that we can offer the most competitive product on the market from a price standpoint. Thus, it is natural to target the US and continental Europe for these sites that will eventually surpass 10,000 tons per year in production capacity. With a market value of roughly 10 Euro/kg for the AXOS ingredient and up to 100 Euro/kg for medical food and therapeutic products, the potential to generate significant revenues certainly materialises once these larger sites are in place. However, to get there we need to go through the steps that we have communicated thus far.
Funding is always an issue for developing companies, what is your financial plan for Carbiotix in the coming year?
– I have always taken a 12-month horizon regarding the financing of Carbiotix. This is to ensure that we do not rest on our laurels and maintain ambitious targets with tight deadlines, obviously with the goal of generating as much shareholder value as possible. As we continue to deliver on these targets, while remaining to be nimble and pivoting when needed, we will pursue the most appropriate financing alternative at the time when financing is needed. If this is equity, debt, grants or other means, we will always do our best to balance the needs of the company with that of shareholders.
– With the strategy we have put in place, it is my ambition to accelerate sales of diagnostic services during 2021 through LinkGut partners as well as commence sales of AXOS as soon as possible. The quicker we can ramp up both, the less reliant we will be on capital markets to finance our operations and the sooner we will reach sustained profitability. Our first production site will be financed with proceeds from our 2020/2021 warrant, pending the minimal stated proceeds are received. Thus, we will not have to raise additional capital from the market.
»I truly believe that 2021 will be an inflection year for Carbiotix.«
Finally, where do you hope Carbiotix will be in a year from now?
– I truly believe that 2021 will be an inflection year for Carbiotix. The early development work from 2014-2019 and transition period during 2020 will now begin to pay dividends in terms of growth of our LinkGut partner network, increased diagnostic sales, and the commencement of AXOS sales. 2021 will also be a time when we begin a process of capacity expansion in Sweden and make strides with potential scale-up partners in the US and continental Europe.
– With regards to our medical food and therapeutic development, I expect 2021 will be a year when the first planned medical food studies are completed and make progress with our therapeutic candidates targeting the same disease areas. In parallel with this, we will continue to strengthen our team, our value proposition and competitive position across all of our business areas.
– Having been at the helm of Carbiotix from the beginning, managing the company during this period should be both challenging given our ambition level but also very rewarding as we go from success to success.
Innehållet i BioStocks nyheter och analyser är oberoende men BioStocks verksamhet är i viss mån finansierad av bolag i branschen. Detta inlägg avser ett bolag som BioStock erhållit finansiering från.