DAVIS, Calif., Jun 1, 2004 -- Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company focused on products that benefit people and the environment, today announced that it has entered into a funded agreement with SemBioSys Genetics Inc., a Canadian biotechnology company. Under the agreement, SemBioSys will transform safflower plants using proprietary genes from Arcadia to create improved seed oils with high levels of gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Arcadia will sell the new value-added oils to existing markets for nutritional ingredients and supplements.
GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, is an intermediate in human metabolism and serves as a precursor for a number of biologically active molecules vital to the maintenance of membrane structure and normal cell signaling. Scientific research suggests that GLA may offer benefits for sufferers of blood platelet dysfunction (thromboembolic disease), atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, and in the suppression of tumor growth and metastasis. Current sources used for GLA production - borage oil and evening primrose oil - make the product expensive and difficult to manufacture and have limited its production.
"Clinical studies indicate that certain specialty omega-6 fatty acids are an effective treatment for several debilitating diseases and disorders, but production costs and relatively low concentrations from traditional sources have limited widespread use," said Eric Rey, president of Arcadia Biosciences. "The production of specialty omega-6 fatty acids in new plant seed oils could significantly reduce the cost of the substances and make their health-promoting benefits available to more people. We believe that this agreement brings an affordable source of GLA another step closer to becoming a reality."
Arcadia Biosciences is developing a portfolio of agricultural products that satisfy market needs and at the same time benefit the environment or human health. Its current product portfolio includes technologies that enable plants to grow using significantly less nitrogen fertilizer; plants that grow in soil too salty for conventional crops; castor plants that do not produce the toxin ricin; and oilseed plants that contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids.
About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (www.arcadiabio.com)
Based in Davis, Calif., Arcadia Biosciences is an agricultural biotechnology company focused on the development of profitable agricultural products that improve the environment and enhance human health. For more information visit www.arcadiabio.com.