Arcadia Biosciences to accelerate trait development with CRISPR-Cas9 license

Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKDA), an agricultural technology company, announced today that it has signed a global licensing agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for research use of the CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technology in agriculture. The technology will enable Arcadia to accelerate the research and development of its agricultural nutrition and productivity traits.

CRISPR-Cas9 works by making precisely-targeted modifications in a cell's DNA, allowing scientists to rapidly enhance beneficial traits or remove undesired plant characteristics. Arcadia will initially focus on applying the technology to speed development of nutritional traits in wheat.

"CRISPR-Cas9 is a high-throughput, cost-effective development tool that is complementary to our ongoing TILLING and transgenic development platforms," said Raj Ketkar, president and CEO of Arcadia. "We expect this technology will significantly improve the time-to-market for a number of our innovative traits addressing large-acre, high-value crops."

The Broad Institute is a world leader in the development and sharing of CRISPR genome-editing technologies and holds several issued U.S. patents covering CRISPR-Cas technology. Under the agreement announced today, the Broad Institute grants Arcadia a worldwide non-exclusive research use license for applications of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology in core Arcadia crops. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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