Arcadia Biosciences And Phytola Collaborate To Increase Oil Content In Soybeans
Published: Jun 16, 2015
DAVIS, Calif. & EDMONTON, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA), an agricultural biotechnology company, announced a collaboration with Phytola, a leader in oilseed crop research, to develop soybean varieties with increased oil content. The research and development project recently received funding from Genome Canada.
“Arcadia’s expertise in lipid biotechnology and development of new crop varieties, together with their established partnerships in the soybean industry, make them an excellent partner to advance Phytola’s technology for increasing seed oil content.”
Based on research by Dr. Randall Weselake, scientific director of Phytola, the project will use genome analysis to isolate soybean seed traits that can enhance oil production in soybeans without negatively affecting protein levels. Arcadia intends to validate the best targets using its proprietary TILLING platform and genetics resources, and if successful targets are identified, would lead commercialization efforts in North and South America through Verdeca, its joint venture with Bioceres S.A.
“We are excited to be working with Arcadia on this project,” said Dr. Weselake. “Arcadia’s expertise in lipid biotechnology and development of new crop varieties, together with their established partnerships in the soybean industry, make them an excellent partner to advance Phytola’s technology for increasing seed oil content.”
“This partnership with Phytola leverages Arcadia’s unique business model, while expanding on our oilseeds expertise,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “An oil-rich variety of soybeans would enable farmers to use limited land resources more effectively, producing even more value per acre of land.”
Arcadia has two nutritional oil products in its portfolio, Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), which is commercially available, and Arachidonic Acid (ARA) oil, which is in Phase 3 of its research and development pipeline.
Soybean oil typically comprises 18 to 20 percent of the seed and is used for cooking, as an ingredient in processed foods, and for industrial purposes. Soybeans that produce more oil will offer increased value for farmers, seed companies and processors.
Phytola and Arcadia researchers believe genomic modifications have the potential to significantly increase soybean seed oil content, and they aim to boost the oil content by up to 25 percent. Such a breakthrough has the potential to be used in up to one-quarter of the growing global soybean seed market, currently worth as much as $4.5 billion annually. In Canada alone, the oil-rich seeds are expected to produce up to $68 million in added value annually.
“We are delighted to see leading businesses, such as Arcadia Biosciences, taking up the opportunity to work with our genomics researchers to pull valuable ideas and technologies out of labs and into use in society,” said Dr. Pierre Meulien, president and CEO of Genome Canada. “This project, in particular, will bring great benefits to the Canadian soybean sector, which is growing in importance and value.”
About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.
Based in Davis, Calif., Arcadia Biosciences develops agricultural products that create added value for farmers while benefitting the environment and enhancing human health. Arcadia’s agronomic performance traits, including Nitrogen Use Efficiency, Water Use Efficiency, Salinity Tolerance, Heat Tolerance and Herbicide Tolerance, are all aimed at making agricultural production more economically efficient and environmentally sound. Arcadia’s nutrition traits and products are aimed at creating healthier ingredients and whole foods with lower production costs. The company was recently listed in the Global Cleantech 100 and was previously named one of MIT Technology Review's 50 Smartest Companies. For more information, visit www.arcadiabio.com.
Based at the University of Alberta, Phytola performs research in lipid biochemistry and molecular biology aimed at creating new opportunities for Canada's oilseeds industry. Established in 2010 with funding from Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, Phytola works in partnership with industry on commercially-focused projects oriented to market needs. Phytola's multidisciplinary expertise and collaborative network provides a unique, integrated platform for the development of new traits and specialty oil products. For more information, visit www.phytola.ca.
About Genome Canada
Genome Canada is a federally-funded not-for-profit organization that acts as a catalyst for developing and applying genomics and genomic-based technologies across multiple sectors to create economic and social benefits for Canadians. For more information, visit www.genomecanada.ca.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements related to a new collaboration project for soybeans. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: our ability to identify and isolate desired soybean seed traits; the company and its partners’ ability to develop commercial products incorporating such traits and complete the regulatory review process for such products; the company’s compliance with laws and regulations that impact the company’s business, and changes to such laws and regulations; the company’s future capital requirements and ability to satisfy its capital needs; and the other risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including the risks set forth in the Arcadia’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 (including the final prospectus dated May 14, 2015) and other filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Arcadia. disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.