Arcadia Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA) watched its shares absolutely explode on Wednesday after the firm announced that it reached a couple of key milestones. Specifically, the firm said that it achieved two technology milestones in its High Fiber Resistant Starch (RS) Wheat program.
First, through advanced screening and traditional breeding techniques, the company has developed non-transgenic (non-GM) wheat varieties that contain up to 94% amylose, the highest levels available. Increased levels of amylose correspond to high levels of resistant starch, which has been proven to deliver significant health benefits.
Second, these same wheat varieties deliver levels of total dietary fiber high enough to meet the threshold required by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a “Good Source” of fiber or “High in Fiber” designation on consumer packaging.
At the same time, Arcadia is working with a select number of consumer packaged goods companies on new, healthier formulations of existing products using both enriched and whole wheat RS Wheat flour. The company is preparing for an increase in acres planted during the upcoming U.S. wheat-growing season.
Overall, wheat flour is a major part of people’s diets on a global level. In 2015, the global wheat flour market was valued at $200 billion and is estimated to reach a value of $270 billion by 2022.
Raj Ketkar, president and CEO of Arcadia Biosciences, commented:
These milestones are key achievements in the commercial launch plan for our non-GM wheat ingredients portfolio, delivering health benefits to consumers and distinct market differentiators to consumer packaged goods companies. Arcadia’s new wheat varieties will allow people to enjoy the foods they love with the health benefits of resistant starch and dietary fiber, while satisfying consumer demand for clean-label, natural foods.
Shares of Arcadia closed Wednesday up 311% at $47.99, with a consensus analyst price target of $20.00 and a 52-week range of $3.60 to $54.99.