Posted by: shrikantmantri | March 14, 2010

Arcadia Biosciences : Coeliac disease free wheat under development

Arcadia Biosciences Receives $855,500 Grant to Fund Next-stage Development of Wheat With Reduced Celiac Disease Potential

– Company To Collaborate With Washington State University And Build Upon Promising Phase I Research Results –

DAVIS, Calif. (February 15, 2010) — Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., an agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that benefit the environment and human health, today announced that it has received a two-year, $855,500 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The grant was awarded to Arcadia, in partnership with Washington State University (WSU), to help fund Phase II development of wheat varieties with reduced celiac disease-causing proteins.

Arcadia and WSU received a Phase I grant in 2005 through which the organizations applied TILLING®, a high-throughput genetic screening technology, to identify wheat plants with low levels of proteins that are most toxic to individuals with celiac disease. Significant progress in the Phase I program drove the Phase II application and grant funding. Phase II activities will take a broader approach and seek to remove a far greater number of toxic proteins while maintaining levels of proteins that are critical for bread-making qualities. The company also believes that removal of targeted toxic proteins could cause an increase in beneficial proteins and potentially lead to more nutritious bread.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that, in sensitive individuals, results from a toxic reaction to certain proteins found in specific grains, including wheat. This reaction in celiac sufferers causes damage to the small intestine and inhibits proper food absorption. It is estimated that approximately 1 percent of Americans have the disease, and the incidence is even higher in some northern European countries. A study by the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic released in July 2009 found that celiac disease is four times more common today than it was 50 years ago. The study attributed this increase to the improvement in diagnostic tools as well as unknown environmental factors.

“Celiac disease sufferers have to make significant dietary adjustments in order to avoid potentially severe impacts. And while the range of food products continues to expand in response to the rising numbers of diagnosed celiac-sufferers, certain grains remain off-limits. Development of wheat varieties with minimal amounts of celiac-triggering proteins can dramatically expand food choices and the quality of life for celiac-sufferers,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “The progress under our Phase I grant has made us increasingly optimistic about our ability to deliver wheat varieties that people with celiac disease can enjoy. If the approach we are exploring in the Phase II grant is successful, our new wheat varieties may also appeal to a much broader market.”

The company has not released a commercialization timeline for its new wheat varieties, though it expects to complete Phase II research in mid-2011.

About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. 
Based in Davis, Calif., with additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz., Arcadia Biosciences is an agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that improve the environment and enhance human health. For more information visit www.arcadiabio.com.

* The project described was supported by Award Number R42DK072721 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases or the National Institutes of Health

Posted via email from Sharing significant bytes —(Shrikant Mantri)

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