MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Calyxt narrowed its loss in the third quarter of fiscal 2018 as the company said it made good strides toward its goal of becoming “a real commercial player.” The company said it sustained a loss of $7.483 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, which compared with a loss of $12.904 million in the same period a year ago.

Net revenues fell to $27,000 from $44,000 a year ago.

“Our key accomplishments for 2018 include; to date, we have successfully harvested over 90% of our 17,000 acres planted in 2018,” James A. Blome, chief executive officer, said during a Nov. 14 conference call with analysts. “In the last few weeks, we have contracted over 17,000 acres for the 2019 growing season. We’re already surpassing the total acreage of 2018 with the goal to double this acreage in size in 2019. We’ve established a supply chain with oil crushing and refining contracts, not just to cover this year’s harvest, but to provide ample room for growth.

“We are in discussions with over 30 food companies with three companies already in advance contracting discussions. One of these three potential food customers has the ability to purchase our entire 2018 oil supply.

“We have successfully harvested our high-fiber wheat field trials paving the road for commercial field planning. And we are finishing this quarter with a cash balance of over $101 million, providing a solid basis for next year’s expansion.”

Looking ahead to 2019, Blome said Calyxt’s goals include a successful commercialization of the company’s high-oleic soybean business, highlighted by growing food company relationships and the company’s first food ingredient sales. Calyxt also hopes to optimize its established soybean identity preserve supply chain and build the foundation for the company’s wheat identity preserve supply chain.

Manoj Sahoo, chief commercial officer, said Calyxt is pleased with the progress on its supply chain. He said the company has executed a total processing agreement with American Natural Processers, a provider of innovative non-GMO and organic crushing and processing of oils. Calyxt also has executed a refining agreement with KemX, another provider of organic processing of oils with the capacity to refine up to 115 million pounds of oil per year.

“After harvest is complete, we intend to start crushing in coming weeks to make high-oleic soybean oil available for commercial launch,” Sahoo said.

Regarding the company’s high fiber wheat, Blome said Calyxt has successfully transitioned to phase two and has completed its field trial harvest for the world’s first gene-edited consumer-focused wheat product.

“We had already proven the increased fiber concept when our greenhouse grown trials demonstrated 3x the fiber of commodity-like wheat flour,” he said. “In the coming months, we will be testing to confirm our field-growing trials, replicate this 3x fiber results seen in our greenhouses.

“Additionally, we will test the field-grown derived wheat flour in further studies to characterize the food applications desired by the food industry. We will also be bulking up seeds and crossing into a lead germplasm in preparation of the potential 2020-21 commercial launch of the product. We are indeed very excited about our wheat product, as it will provide valuable opportunities for our food company customers to value differentiate their products in the consumer markets.”