Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., a Davis, CA-based agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that benefit the environment and human health, has received a two-year, $855,500 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant.
The grant, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), 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.
Arcadia Biosciences, which also believes that removal of targeted toxic proteins could cause an increase in beneficial proteins and potentially lead to more nutritious bread, has not released a commercialization timeline for its new wheat varieties, though it expects to complete Phase II research in mid-2011.
Arcadia Biosciences, operates additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz.