DAVIS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arcadia Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ:RKDA) today announced that its joint venture with Bioceres S.A., Verdeca, has received approval of its HB4 stress tolerance trait in soybeans by Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, made the official announcement on Monday at a special event broadcasted nationwide. Verdeca’s completion of the regulatory process in Argentina for HB4 stress tolerant soybeans is the world’s first for an abiotic stress tolerance trait in this crop.
In six seasons of multi-location field trials in Argentina and the United States, including three years of regulatory field trials, the HB4 trait has demonstrated yield increases of up to 14 percent under multiple stresses – including drought and low-water conditions – typically found in soybean production areas.
“Our regulatory team has done an amazing job to accelerate HB4 soybeans toward commercialization through the generation of quality data and open communication with regulatory agencies,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia and a manager of Verdeca. “This approval is great news for farmers trying to meet the growing global demand for soybeans under challenging environmental conditions. HB4 soybeans will create significant value for soybean growers and end markets by increasing the productivity and sustainability of the world’s most important protein crop.”
Soybeans are the world’s fourth-largest crop, grown on more than 270 million acres worldwide with a global market value of $113 billion. 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. 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.
With the Argentinian regulatory process complete, Verdeca expects to focus on gaining approval to export HB4 soybeans to China, the largest importer of South American soybeans. According to a 2013 Rabobank report, Chinese soybean imports have increased from 13 million tons in 2001 to more than 60 million tons in 2013, and are projected to increase by an additional 20 million tons in the next decade.
In addition to the Argentinian approvals, Verdeca completed the US Food and Drug Administration Early Food Safety Evaluation in August for the plant protein responsible for the HB4 stress tolerance trait.
About Arcadia Biosciences (NASDAQ:RKDA)
Based in Davis, Calif., with additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz., 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.
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 relating to Verdeca’s HB4 trait and the regulatory process for such trait. 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 develop commercial products incorporating their traits, including the HB4 trait, and complete the regulatory review process for such products; Arcadia’s compliance with laws and regulations that impact Arcadia’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.