AquaBounty reports net loss for Q1 2018, but cashes in public offering bounty
AquaBounty Technologies, the creator of AquAdvantage genetically engineered salmon, announced a net loss for the first quarter of 2018, but banked millions in a January public offering and received a key government approval for its Indiana production facility.
AquaBounty’s net loss rose from USD 2.1 million (EUR 1.8 million) for the first quarter of 2017, to USD 2.4 million (EUR 2 million) this quarter, “reflecting pre-production costs at the Indiana farm site and commencement of research and development activities at the Rollo Bay [Canada] hatchery,” the company said in its first-quarter financial report.
The Maynard, Massachusetts-based company reported it raised USD 10.6 million (EUR 8.9 million) in its public offering of common shares and warrants in the quarter ending 31 March, 2018. AquaBounty spokesperson Dave Conley said in an email to SeafoodSource that the company raised USD 12 million from the public offering but that the figure was reduced in the report due to expenses.
And it recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to raise salmon at its Albany, Indiana facility, which has a production capacity of 1,200 tons per year with significant room for expansion.
“In this quarter, we achieved our two main objectives of completing our public offering and receiving FDA approval for our Indiana farm site facility. We anticipate stocking the tanks in the coming months,” AquaBounty CEO Ronald Stotish said.
However, despite beginning sales in Canada, the company cannot yet start production in the United States. AquaBounty is prevented from importing its AquAdvantage salmon eggs for the Indiana facility from Canada, pending the FDA’s issuance of final labeling guidance for genetically engineered salmon.
In related news, the United States Department of Agriculture published its proposed rules for the labeling of genetically modified food and opened a 60-day comment period scheduled to end on 3 June.
“The company is fully prepared to comply with labeling requirements and hopes that this process will conclude in the near term,” AquaBounty said.
Aquabounty’s stock, which is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under the symbol AQB, closed at USD 3.18 (EUR 2.68) on Wednesday, 9 May.