Diagnostik- och tarmhälsobolaget Carbiotix passerade flera viktiga milstolpar under det gångna årets sista kvartal. Bolaget står nu med stärkta finanser inför bygget av den industriella produktionsanläggningen i Bjuv, berett att lägga i nästa växel under 2021. BioStock kontaktade Carbiotix vd Kristofer Cook för att få hans syn på rapporten för det fjärde kvartalet samt en inblick i vad som väntar härnäst för Carbiotix.

Lundabolaget Carbiotix tillhandahåller avancerade tarmdiagnostiktjänster och har utvecklat Carbiotix AXOS – en prebiotisk fiber av majskli för främjandet av en hälsosam tarmmiljö. Bolaget släppte under förra veckan sin rapport för det fjärde kvartalet.

LinkGut-nätverket växer

I bokslutskommunikén kan man bland annat kan man konstatera att det finns ett fortsatt starkt intresse för OneGut-plattformen, där tre nya LinkGut-partners anslutit till partnernätverket, utöver de tre som anslöt under det tredje kvartalet.

Carbiotix har även ingått ett LinkGut-samarbete med brittiska MWELL, som ägs av Kellogg Europe, där kunder kommer få vägledning av Carbiotix OneGut-test för att kunna dosera och optimera sitt intag av MWELLS prebiotika.

Carbiotix i PepsiCos Greenhouse Accelerator-program

Ytterligare uppmärksamhet erhöll Carbiotix i januari när bolaget blev att av tio som antogs i PepsiCos Greenhouse Accelerator 2021. Syftet med programmet är att med mentorsstöd accelerera utvecklingen av lovande innovationsbolag inom konsumenthälsa och individanpassad kost.

Medverkan i programmet kommer att bidra till att skapa uppmärksamhet kring Carbiotix i USA, en framtida marknad med stor potential för bolaget.

Säkrad finansiering inför bygge av produktionsanläggning

I förra veckan meddelade Carbiotix utfallet i den teckningsoption som emitterades i samband med sommarens riktade nyemission. Teckningsoptionen nyttjades fullt ut vilket innebar att kassan stärktes med drygt 14 Mkr. Det var ett viktigt kapitaltillskott inför bygget av den industriella produktionsanläggning som ska tillverka AXOS-ingrediens för livsmedel, dryck och kosttillskott samt för studier och terapeutiska utvecklingsaktiviteter.

Produktionsanläggningen är tänkt att byggas i Bjuv och kommer initialt ha en kapacitet på 10 ton per år. Avsikten är att kunna nå den inledande kapaciteten under det andra kvartalet i år, för att sedan skala upp till 100 ton under 2022 och i ett senare skede ytterligare till 1000 ton.

En annan viktig byggsten i kommersialiseringsarbetet är att få till ett regulatoriskt godkännande för den amerikanska marknaden. Här har Carbiotix en pågående process med FDA som man hoppas få klar inom en snar framtid, men som är svår att påverka för bolaget.

»AXOS will be the key value driver for the company, given the gross margins we are targeting, and the sooner we have our own production site operational and our first regulatory requirements fulfilled in tandem, the sooner we can begin to grow revenues and achieve profitability. Getting this site up and running and brining our first AXOS product to market is by far our top priority.«, Kristofer Cook, vd Carbitoix.

Vd kommenterar

BioStock har pratat med Carbiotix vd Kristofer Cook för att få veta mer.

Looking at the fourth quarter, what would you specifically highlight?

– The fourth quarter of 2020 represented the final quarter of our “transition period” where we shifted from a BtoC to a BtoB business model in the gut health diagnostic space and we clearly defined our product roadmap in the modulator space for the short, medium, and long term. I am extremely proud of the Carbiotix team and of their accomplishments during this period, as this transition was not easy from a business or operational standpoint. We are however now extremely well positioned in our four target business areas and will aggressively move forward to capitalise on this position.

– With regards to key highlights, the signing of our first three LinkGut API partners was certainly an important step as it validated our decision to move to a BtoB model for our gut health test and provided the partners needed to accelerate the market launch of our API solution. Signing an agreement with MWELL also provided confirmation that our LinkGut website extension service was appealing for a top-10 food & beverage company, which ultimately contributed to our inclusion in the 2021 PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator in Q1 of 2021. Last, but not least, finalising that FoodHills in Bjuv would be the site of our first production facility for AXOS and future related products was a significant announcement for the company.

– AXOS will be the key value driver for the company, given the gross margins we are targeting, and the sooner we have our own production site operational and our first regulatory requirements fulfilled in tandem, the sooner we can begin to grow revenues and achieve profitability. Getting this site up and running and brining our first AXOS product to market is by far our top priority.

You have made quite a few new LinkGut-partners and have already now beaten your targets for 2021-2023. What are your expectations for the LinkGut partners for 2021?

Kristofer Cook, vd Carbiotix

– To clarify again, our LinkGut service is offered to food & beverage, supplement, pharmaceutical and health & wellness companies as means to build and strengthen our relationship with potential AXOS customers, advocates or distribution partners. Thus, our LinkGut service will primarily be a top-line driver, ultimately accelerating and amplifying the sales of our modulators.

– Saying this, it is of course in our best interest to sign on as many relevant LinkGut partners as possible. This is precisely why we made the transition to a BtoB model and spent so much time to become the only company in the world to offer a dedicated and customised gut health test that is less expensive, and more reliable, global, functional, and informative than any other test offered today. Today, it makes absolutely no sense for a company interested in offering their own gut health test to build their own testing infrastructure or work with another service provider in the consumer microbiome testing area.

– Regarding our LinkGut partner targets, you will see that the number of LinkGut partners will grow over time, obviously limited only by the number of health & wellness companies operating and interested in offering their own test, and food & beverage companies interested in embracing transparency and allowing their customers to verify the benefits of consuming their products. We are however very confident that the trend towards increased biometric data collection, transparency, and personalisation favours our LinkGut service going forward extremely well.

You have talked about 2021 being a potential inflection year for the company. What must happen for this year to become just that?

– That is correct. If 2020 was a transition year for Carbiotix, 2021 will be an inflection period for the company. What this means practically is that the number of LinkGut partners, especially API LinkGut partners, will grow. This will drive sales volumes of our OneGut gut health test, given that with API partners we are a key service in their core business, translating into month-on-month revenue growth from our diagnostic service business area. Commencing AXOS sales is also a key step that needs to start to reinforce this inflection period. Obviously, having our own production site operational and first regulatory approvals in place is a prerequisite for this to happen.

– Apart from the above, inflection for me means ramping up activities related to internal and external studies, the provision of samples for testing, and making progress with our medical food and therapeutic development activities across multiple indication areas. Moreover, expanding our IP portfolio, pushing forward with ISO fulfilment and further regulatory approvals in the US and EU, and providing clarity of our modulator expansion strategy in terms of timing, scale and financing strategy are part of this ramp up process.

– The latter I am of course interested in as the largest single shareholder in Carbiotix. Financing the expansion of Carbiotix in a way that advances the interests of all shareholders will be one of my main priorities going forward, especially as my understanding of how to effectively manage a publicly traded company grows with each passing quarter.

 

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