Arcadia Biosciences and DuPont to collaborate on the development of specialty oil

| April 11, 2013

SafflowerArcadia, Pioneer take aim at the growing market in safflower oils with a strategic collaboration.

In California and Iowa, Arcadia Biosciences and DuPont Pioneer announced a formal collaboration to develop a high-value, specialty nutritional oil for global consumer markets. Under the agreement, Arcadia, an agricultural company, will receive certain licenses to specific DuPont Pioneer innovations and intellectual property.

The underlying focus of the collaboration will be to develop new safflower varieties that produce high levels of arachidonic acid-containing oil in a concentrated, reliable and cost-effective way. The collaboration builds upon new trait innovation from DuPont Pioneer as well as both organizations’ crop  development and regulatory expertise.

Reaction from DuPont

“DuPont has a strong history of collaboration and innovation for new, high-value agricultural technologies,” said Jon Lightner, DuPont Pioneer vice president of Agricultural Biotechnology. “We are conducting research and development at multiple points along the food value chain, looking for opportunities to provide safer, healthier and more nutritious food for a growing global population, whether it’s upstream through DuPont Pioneer or downstream through DuPont Nutrition & Health. This relationship reinforces our leadership in biotech output traits and nutritional oils. It builds on the success of Plenish high oleic soybean oil, which has 20 percent less saturated fat than commodity soy oil,” Lightner said

Arcadia on the move

Arcadia has been working on safflower for some time — for example, developing seeds oils that contain up to 40% gamma linolenic acid (GLA). At this concentration, SONOVA is considerably more efficient and cost effective than current GLA sources, the company has contended.  Gamma-linolenic acid  has been dubbed the “Woman’s EFA,” for its contribution to hormonal balance, skin and joint health and menopausal discomfort.

In February, Arcadia and FuturaGene announced that they have signed an agreement for FuturaGene to develop eucalyptus and poplar trees using Arcadia’s Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Water Use Efficiency technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, FuturaGene receives non-exclusive global rights to NUE and WUE technologies, expanding FuturaGene’s pipeline to enhance the performance of plantation forestry species. Arcadia Biosciences is an agricultural technology company focused on the development of agricultural products, with agronomic traits, including NUE, Water Efficiency, Salt Tolerance, Heat Tolerance, and Herbicide Tolerance. FuturaGene focuses on plant genetic research and development for the global forestry, biopower, and biofuel markets.

Lately, DuPont has been focused on water use efficiency, too. Last month in Iowa, DuPont Pioneer and Mendel Biotechnology entered into a license collaboration to evaluate and commercialize new gene leads for increased water use efficiency and improved photosynthesis in corn. Under the agreement, DuPont Pioneer and Mendel will evaluate these new gene leads and test them for yield-enhancement traits in Pioneer brand corn products. These gene leads were identified by Mendel in its next-generation plant physiology platform.

More on DuPont

We profiled DuPont’s green chemistry activities last October in “The Greening of DuPont”, here.

The bottom line

There’s big money and big players working on high oleics — clearly, Arcadia has seen the demand and is aiming at this sector — landing a major partner to take lab traits and put them into the field — well, that’s a major step towards commercialization, for sure.

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