Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Arcadia Biosciences’ gluten research earns $2 million grant

ArcadiaW

Eric Rey, CEO of Arcadia Biosciences in Davis, shows off wheat grown at the Davis headquarters as part of a research project to reduce gluten in cereal grain crops. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page A18 | October 13, 2013 | Leave Comment

A local company’s research that may improve the lives of millions of people around the world is being supported by a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders. The research involves finding a natural reduction of gluten within cereal grain crops.

Arcadia Biosciences Inc., one of the players in the burgeoning local agricultural biotechnology scene, is the grant recipient. The 10-year-old company is headquartered in Davis, at 202 Cousteau Place.

The local firm licenses technologies that come out of places like UC Davis, where another group already has done basic research. Eric Rey, CEO of Arcadia Biosciences, explained the model:

“We license these outside technologies, make investments in proving the technology works — like efficacy in plants in the field — then we turn around and license it to seed companies.”

Charles “Max” Moehs, a researcher based in Arcadia’s lab in Seattle, conceptualized the basic research for an approach to reducing gluten in cereal grains.

Absent the grant, Moehs would not have been able to pursue the research because Arcadia Biosciences is not in the business of funding basic research itself.

The research focuses on gluten, a mixture of proteins in cereal grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It causes a serious reaction, an autoimmune response, in people with celiac disease, which affects one in 133 Americans.

Another 7 percent of the population is affected by non-celiac gluten sensitivity, according research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. This larger group experiences some physical side-effects after ingesting gluten.

“The aim is to reduce the accumulation in the seed of those proteins that are most toxic to people with gluten sensitivity while leaving the proteins important for the bread-making functionality of wheat,” Moehs said.

The grant, which is the third he’s received from the agency, covers three years of work; after that, Moehs expects to have a better idea of the feasibility of his concept and how long development may take.

“In the old days, I’d tell you it would take 10 years,” he added. “I certainly hope that with the new molecular tools available to us that we can trim that down quite a bit, at least in half. In all, hopefully eight years.”

Commercialization would be the next step after development is complete. The possible commodity — which would not be a genetically modified organism — would capitalize on the gluten-free market, expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2017, according to Packaged Facts.

“It’s unknown right now whether we’re going to be able to make a bread wheat that eliminates gluten for those with celiac disease,” Rey said. “But the other target, of reducing the gluten, is something we’re confident about.

He remains high on the benefit of the work being done by Moehs and his support team, which includes about 10 researchers between the Seattle and Davis labs: ”A potentially commercially successful product that makes money and dramatically improves people’s lives? That’s as good as it gets. We’re very excited about it.”

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Going green at church, school, everywhere

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

     
    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    UCD to host Global Health Day event

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    .

    Forum

    Dad makes mom look bad

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20