: Twist Bioscience shares slide 20% after short seller compares synthetic DNA provider to Theranos, calling it a ‘cash-burning inferno’

by | Nov 16, 2022 | Stock Market

Twist Bioscience Corp.’s stock slid 20% Tuesday, after a blistering short-seller report compared the company to the failed blood-testing startup Theranos, calling it a “cash-burning inferno” and a ” ‘synthetic biology’ swindle.” Scorpion Capital, an activist short seller, said the report was based on 20 research interviews with former executives and manufacturing employees, customers and competitors, as well as a private-investigator field visit to the company’s “factory of the future” in Oregon.

That facility, which Twist
TWST,
-19.92%
says it’s ramping up with $100 million of capital spending, appears to be deserted, based on photographic and other evidence, said Scorpion. “Twist is a ticking time bomb, a commodity synthetic DNA manufacturer and glorified [contract manufacturing operation], operating an unsustainable Ponzi-like scheme based on price dumping and customer subsidies to buy revenue and create the illusion of ‘growth,’ ” the authors wrote. “We believe the short report issued by Scorpion Capital is highly misleading, with many distortions and inaccuracies,” said Angela Bitting, Twist senior vice president for corporate affairs in emailed comments. “Unlike the author of the short report, as a public company, we are committed to communicating truthfully, creating value for all shareholders, and being good stewards of capital. We remain focused on our mission to improve health and sustainability by manufacturing DNA at scale and …

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