Arcadia Biosciences (NASDAQ: RKDA), a biotech firm with a $45 million market cap – popped higher today before the bell on news that it has successfully found a patent for a new type of low-gluten wheat.
The knee-jerk reaction to news like this might be to get circumspect about genetically modified organisms or even new gene editing processes, because so many of these innovations are done through these largely untested means – but the details of the press release announced this morning show that like other parts of Arcadia’s GoodWheat™ lineup, the new low-gluten variety is done the old-fashioned way, through breeding, and not through genetic modification.
The traditional approach means that growers can market these products to more parts of the world – nations and places like the Eurozone where GMOs are not accepted.
Previously, Arcadia has bred wheat for features like high fiber and extended shelf life. The new wheat variety reportedly has 75% less gluten than conventional wheat, along with higher levels of certain amino acids.
“This patent reaffirms Arcadia’s position as a leader in crop innovation, particularly in optimizing crops for higher nutritional value,” said Arcadia VP Randy Shultz, Ph.D. in a press statement. “We continue to bring valuable and healthy innovation to wheat – one of the most widely consumed crops in the world – through our GoodWheat portfolio.”
In response to the news, RKDA spiked, but Arcadia still has higher to climb to hit values experienced earlier in the month, with a high of $9.85 August 26.
However, going back to the beginning of August, the equity price rested around two dollars before spiking up to over eight dollars on the 15th, and then to the near $10 mark the week after. Similarly, RKDA has a 52-week high of around $10.40 and a 52-week low of just $1.82 – and now seems to be resting comfortably around the middle.
Look for more as Arcadia continues to bring innovative products to market – the company says a retail version of the new wheat will be coming this year. Stay tuned.