— Crop productivity and environmental benefits expected from relationship between small, innovative U.S. company and established European seed company —
Davis, California, USA and Tienen, BELGIUM (April 26, 2007) – Arcadia Biosciences Inc., an innovative U.S.-based plant biotechnology company and Belgium-based SESVanderHave Seeds, the world’s second-largest sugar beet seed company, today announced that they have signed an agreement to develop and commercialize nitrogen use efficient sugar beet varieties using Arcadia technology and SESVanderHave seed and plant breeding capabilities.
Under the agreement SESVanderHave receives an exclusive global license to develop and commercialize sugar beets using Arcadia’s proprietary Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) technology. Arcadia receives technology license fees and a share of commercial revenue from future product sales. The companies will form a collaboration to optimize research, product development, and commercial activities.
Commercial sugar beet production is nitrogen-intensive, and nitrogen fertilizer is one of the largest production costs incurred by sugar beet farmers. As is the case with most crops, sugar beets typically absorb less than one-half of applied nitrogen. Unutilized nitrogen may escape into ground or surface waters, or be volatilized as nitrous oxide, a highly potent greenhouse gas.
Because NUE sugar beets will require less nitrogen fertilizer for production, farmers are expected to benefit from reduced costs, enhanced yields, and improved profitability – making them more globally competitive. At the same time, benefits to the environment are expected from reduced nitrogen emissions.
“Today’s sugar beet farmers are under significant cost and environmental pressure,” said John Akers, president and CEO of SESVanderHave. “Although NUE sugar beets will not be commercialized for a number of years in the future, we need to start looking for solutions now if our customers are to remain competitive and able to do their part to protect our environment.”
“The capabilities and market position of SESVanderHave make them an ideal partner for the development and commercialization of NUE technology in sugar beets,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “NUE sugar beets will give farmers more choices for increasing their global competitiveness while benefiting the environment.”
Field tests conducted by Arcadia during five growing seasons in various U.S. regions demonstrate that NUE crops achieve higher yields than the control variety, while using as much as two-thirds less nitrogen fertilizer. Arcadia has also demonstrated similar results in rice through greenhouse tests.
SESVanderHave, a new company as a result of a merger between SES and VanderHave, having a 100 percent focus on the development, production and distribution of higher yielding and more competitive sugar beet varieties. More then 175 years of combined experience creates a starting point for a strong future. A leading company that, as a result of a good interpretation of the market needs, research and development, provides a sustainable contribution to sugar beet growing. For more information, please visit www.sesvanderhave.com.
About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.
Based in Davis, Calif., with additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz., Arcadia Biosciences is an agricultural biotechnology company focused on the development of agricultural products that improve the environment and enhance human health. For more information visit www.arcadiabio.com.