— Companies to Use Proprietary Genetic Diversity Library and Screening Platform to Develop New, High-Value Soybean Varieties —
DAVIS, California, ROSARIO, Argentina and CAMBÉ, Brazil (September 17, 2015) – Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA), Bioceres S.A. and Tropical Melhoramento e Genética Ltda. (TMG) today announced a collaboration agreement between TMG and Verdeca LLC, a soybean technology joint venture between Arcadia and Bioceres. The collaboration will use Verdeca’s proprietary soybean genetic diversity library and Arcadia’s high-throughput screening platform to develop a portfolio of new non-genetically modified (non-GM) soybean varieties with a number of agronomic and product quality benefits.
The Verdeca soybean genetic diversity library is an extensive and exclusive resource of soybean plants with high-density variations in genetic composition and gene function. In combination with Arcadia’s proprietary high-throughput genetic screening platform, the library enables rapid identification of plants with functional differences in single or multiple target genes. Under this new collaboration, scientists will use the soybean library to identify and develop specific genetic variations that affect crop productivity and soybean oil and meal composition. The resulting traits will be further developed by TMG and Verdeca, and commercialized in South America by TMG and globally by Verdeca.
“Our soybean genetic diversity library is a unique and extensive resource of genetic variation that has the potential to enhance our already rich product pipeline,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “This new collaboration will enable us to aggressively leverage that resource to develop and commercialize non-GM soybean varieties with improved agronomic performance and product quality. TMG has proven its leadership in Brazilian soybean breeding and is the ideal development and commercial partner for us.”
“This agreement strengthens the existing collaboration between Verdeca and TMG, now expanding to the development of differentiated germplasm in terms of quality attributes and other non-GM traits,” said Federico Trucco, CEO of Bioceres.
“New sources of genetic variation are crucial for the progress of genetic gain and enhancement of our portfolio, and Verdeca’s soybean diversity library is an excellent source of this variation,” said Francisco Soares, CEO of TMG. “TMG is very excited to use it as a tool to improve our existing germplasm, as well as to explore the possibility of having a non-GM alternative to bring new characteristics to soybeans that will benefit the growers.”
This collaboration is the latest in a series of Verdeca partnerships that advance the development of high-value soybean traits. In July, Bioceres, Arcadia and TMG announced a collaboration to develop and commercialize Verdeca’s HB4 stress tolerance trait in soybeans. Earlier this year, Verdeca announced a collaboration with Dow AgroSciences to develop soybean trait stacks that combine Verdeca’s agronomic performance and product quality traits with Dow AgroSciences’ herbicide tolerance and insect resistance traits.
In April of this year, Verdeca’s HB4 stress tolerant soybeans received a key regulatory approval in Argentina, the world’s first regulatory approval of an abiotic stress tolerance trait in soybeans. In August of this year, the HB4 stress tolerance trait completed the US Food and Drug Administration Early Food Safety Evaluation process. Verdeca’s stress-tolerant soybeans are in Phase 4 of development.
Soybeans are the world’s fourth-largest crop, grown on 110 million hectares worldwide. Global demand is projected to increase over the next decade as a result of population growth and the expanding middle class in highly populated countries such as India and China. South America is the world’s largest exporter of soybeans to both developed and developing countries, and more than 45 percent of the world’s soybeans are grown in Argentina and Brazil. Verdeca is developing multiple agronomic performance and product quality traits in soybeans to give farmers new options to help increase productivity and total value.
About Arcadia Biosciences Based in Davis, Calif., with additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz., Arcadia Biosciences (NASDAQ: RKDA) 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. For more information, visit www.arcadiabio.com.
About Bioceres Bioceres is a fully integrated agricultural biotechnology company utilizing multiple technology platforms to develop and commercialize products that enhance crop productivity and expand feedstock applications. The company is owned by more than 250 of South America’s largest growers. Bioceres is a major shareholder of INDEAR (Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology of Rosario) and Bioceres Semillas. For more information visit www.bioceres.com.ar.
About TMG The TMG (Tropical Melhoramento & Genética) is a Brazilian soybean and cotton breeding company based in Cambé – Paraná. TMG is focused on developing productive cultivars with technologies that improve plant health and profitability to the farmer. TMG was the first company to launch cultivars with the Inox Technology®, which incorporates genetic resistance to Asian Soybean Rust, addressing a larger number of benefits in the field and helping to lower production costs. TMG is the market leader in the Brazilian “Cerrado” region, with state-of-the-art facilities in Brazil that enable rapid development of new cultivars. To learn more about the company and its cultivars, access tmg.agr.br.
About Verdeca Verdeca, a US-based joint venture between Bioceres and Arcadia Biosciences, develops and deregulates soybean varieties with next-generation agricultural technologies. Working in partnership with South American growers, Verdeca provides technologies that help increase crop productivity, making more efficient and sustainable use of land and water resources. For more information visit www.verdeca.com.
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 Verdeca’s collaboration projects 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: Arcadia’s and its partners’ and affiliates’ ability to identify and isolate desired soybean seed traits; Arcadia’s compliance with laws and regulations that impact the company’s business, and changes to such laws and regulations; Arcadia’s future capital requirements and ability to satisfy its capital needs; and the other risks set forth in Arcadia’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including the risks set forth in Arcadia’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 and other filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.