Arcadia Biosciences, a Leader in Advanced Agricultural Breeding and Gene Optimization, Announces New Business Unit Dedicated to Cannabis
Arcadia Specialty Genomics to bring standardization and optimization to America’s cannabis crop with a focus on improved plant quality, resiliency and yield.
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With a fifteen-year track record of agricultural innovation, Arcadia Biosciences has brought new and beneficial crop traits to market through its advanced, proprietary approach to plant breeding and gene editing. With products such as GoodWheat™ flour and SONOVA® GLA safflower, the company is an industry leader in the development of high-value food ingredients and nutritional oils that meet consumer demands and improve crop outcomes for farmers. Now, the company will apply its expertise to the burgeoning cannabis industry, with an initial focus on the hemp market. Chief Financial Officer Matt Plavan has been appointed president of Arcadia Specialty Genomics.
“Within the rapidly growing legal cannabis industry, we see enormous
opportunity in – and demand for – improved plant quality, productivity,
consistency and resilience,” said Raj Ketkar, president and CEO of
The recent passage of the U.S. Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – also known as the Farm Bill – confirmed the federal legalization of hemp, the term given to non-psychoactive cannabis containing less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It also included provisions for legalizing on a federal level hemp’s cultivation, transport and sale for the first time in more than 75 years. Hemp, previously considered a Schedule 1 drug and banned as an agricultural crop, lacks substantive plant biology research and suffers from suboptimal genetics, highly fragmented germplasm and rampant inconsistencies.
According to Plavan, hemp’s newly legal status creates significant market opportunities for a company known for its agronomic excellence. “As we’ve evolved from an agricultural trait provider to a functional ingredient seller, we’ve developed capabilities and partnerships which will drive innovation and growth in hemp-derived oils such as CBD and other functional plant properties. As with our wheat and soybean products, we will create hemp-based solutions that allow farmers to be more productive and enable consumer packaged goods companies to differentiate their brands in the marketplace.”
Arcadia Specialty Genomics will
develop novel cannabis varieties possessing productivity, pest
resistance and crop quality traits for license to cultivators, and for
products serving the nutraceutical and food
industries. These developments are made possible through a proprietary
approach combining conventional breeding, Arcadia’s advanced screening
and breeding technology known as TILLING and gene editing. Through this
process, plant populations carrying desirable, high-value genetic
characteristics are identified, isolated and bred to reproduce.
- A 100 percent increase in the production of Omega-6 GLA for safflower.
- Two to six times more fiber than standard wheat and durum with its proprietary GoodWheat™ flour.
- A 65 percent reduction in allergenic gluten content in its GoodWheat™ flour.
- 30 percent more lysine, an essential amino acid, in GoodWheat™ as compared to standard wheat.
“Our ability to bring innovative traits to the market for some of the most complex plant genomes is unparalleled, and we’re excited to turn our attention and expertise to the critical needs facing the rapidly evolving cannabis industry,” said Plavan. “Our near-term focus will be acquiring federal and state licensure in key geographies to launch our research and pilot programs, for which we expect to begin operations in early 2019. In parallel, we are evaluating key partnerships to extend our capabilities vertically, maximize shareholder value and establish Arcadia Specialty Genomics as the leading science-driven company and genetics innovator for cannabis.”
About Arcadia Specialty Genomics
Arcadia Specialty Genomics is a strategic business unit of
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
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
Specialty Genomics’ expectations about the cannabis industry and
potential demand for our products; the uncertainty of the laws and
regulations relating to cannabis and products derived therefrom; the
inherent uncertainty associated with the development of new projects;
our ability to obtain proper licenses and successfully complete research
programs related to cannabis; the acceptance of our products in the
market place; the impact of competitive products and pricing; risks
related to costs, delays and uncertainties associated with potential
future scientific research, product development, clinical trials and the
regulatory approval process; our partners’ and affiliates’ ability to
develop commercial products incorporating cannabis related traits, and
complete the regulatory review process for such products; our compliance
with laws and regulations that impact our business, and changes to such
laws and regulations; our future capital requirements and ability to
satisfy our capital needs; our ability to develop, enforce and defend
our intellectual property rights; and the other risks set forth in our
filings with the
Arcadia Specialty Genomics