S&W Seed Company, a provider of seed genetics, production, processing and marketing for the alfalfa seed market, and Calyxt, Inc., a Minnesota-based company focusing on developing healthier food products, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Cellectis S.A., announced they have entered into a collaboration agreement to research, develop, produce and commercialize alfalfa seed products involving next generation gene editing technology on S&W's industry leading alfalfa seed genetics.

Calyxt's technology allows for the custom gene-editing of plant species to create novel traits and increase value.

In particular, Calyxt will be applying its patented nuclease technology to develop a series of alfalfa seed products based on editing of native genes to improve the agronomic and quality value of alfalfa for the food and agriculture industries.

The approach is based on the same principle as classical cross-breeding of different plants, however the gene editing technology developed by Calyxt dramatically accelerates the development timeline.

The targeted approach of gene editing is more predictable and reliable than traditional breeding and can also be much more cost effective.

The companies will look to commercialize products through S&W and Calyxt's distribution channels with pre-defined financial terms.

Mark Grewal, chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company commented, "This agreement with Calyxt continues to position S&W at the forefront of alfalfa seed research and development. The Calyxt technology allows for the development of unique traits in alfalfa seeds. The ability to provide enhanced traits in alfalfa seed varieties opens up what we believe will be a significant opportunity for us, our partners and Calyxt. The world will continue to need varieties that can drive increases in productivity, while decreasing input costs to meet global demands. Our goal at S&W is to meet those challenges."

Luc Mathis, chief executive officer of Calyxt commented, "S&W Seed Company is a great partner for us to address the alfalfa market, combining the ability to generate new traits into superior genetics, with a clear path to market. The partnership fits well with our vision of bringing higher quality products also for the feed industry."