Arcadia Biosciences settles IP dispute with global collaboration to market high fiber wheat

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Arista's high fiber wheat delivers 'multiple times' the reistant starch and 'significantly' higher amounts of dietary fiber than traditional wheat flour. Pic: GettyImages/ivanmateev
Arista's high fiber wheat delivers 'multiple times' the reistant starch and 'significantly' higher amounts of dietary fiber than traditional wheat flour. Pic: GettyImages/ivanmateev

Related tags Arcadia Biosciences Arista Cereal Technologies Bay State Milling Company Resistant starch Wheat Intellectual property Patent US Patent and Trademark Office

Arcadia Biosciences has signed an agreement with Arista Cereal Technologies and Bay State Milling Company to globally commercialize a high fiber resistant starch wheat, resolving an earlier intellectual property (IP) wrangle between itself and Arista.

Under the agreement, Bay State Milling will become the exclusive commercial partner for the high fiber wheat in North America – marketed under its HealthSense portfolio.

Arista receives exclusive rights for Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan and South Korea – marketed under its GoodWheat portfolio.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that resolves our ongoing patent dispute and puts our focus on successfully bringing high fiber wheat to market across our wide platform,” ​said Eric Vaschalde, CEO of Arista.

Patent tussle

In August 2018, the Patent Trials and Appeals Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a judgement that recognized Arista as the inventor and patent rights owner of the technology.

However, a month later, Arcadia filed a lawsuit against Arista, alleging three of Arista’s patents should have included Arcadia inventors and that Arista had breached certain confidentiality obligations.

Arista fought back with numerous factual and legal omissions in Arcadia’s allegations and the suit was dismissed in January this year.

“After decades of research and development, Arista focused its initial market development in North America with its partner, Bay State Milling. This agreement not only bolsters Bay State Milling’s commercial opportunities, but it also enhances the global intellectual property for all parties to the agreement,” ​added Vaschalde.

The agreement earns Arcadia royalties for sales of its wheat varieties in North America by Bay State Milling, plus additional considerations.

Resistant starch benefits

According to a 2013 paper published in Food Security, wheat contributes about 20% of the total dietary calories and proteins worldwide. Arista claims its high fiber wheat provides additional benefits, delivering ‘multiple times’ the resistant starch and ‘significantly’ higher amounts of dietary fiber than traditional wheat flour.

This enables producers to reduce the need to add other sources of fiber and simplify their ingredient labels – fulfilling another big consumer demand.

Resistant starch has been found to improve gut and metabolic health, as well as decreasing glycemic response to foods, an important factor in the prevention and management of Type 2 diabetes.

“We continue to see tremendous opportunity for high fiber wheat flour – particularly in the US, where consumers are increasingly mindful about the nutrition their food delivers,” ​said Peter Levangie, president and CEO of Bay State Milling.

“As a result, our customers – food manufacturers – also are looking for ingredients with added nutritional value from natural sources. We are excited to add Arcadia’s high fiber wheat to the HealthSense brand and bring it to customers to help close the fiber gap and improve consumer health in North America.”

Accelerating commercialization

“We are pleased to have entered into an agreement with Arista and Bay State Milling that will accelerate commercialization of our high fiber wheat in key wheat markets – and capture revenue in 2019 and beyond,”​ said Raj Ketkar, president and CEO of Arcadia Biosciences.

“Bay State Milling is an excellent partner for North America, bringing its strengths in milling, identity preserved supply chains and technical support of customer food companies.”

Since 1899, Bay has had a core purpose to provide flour and plant-based- ingredients to promote the growth of sustainable, healthful and affordable food choices for the consumer.

Arista was formed in 2006 as a JV between Limagrain – a world player in wheat seeds – and Australia’s national research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), to develop and commercialize wheat with direct consumer health benefits.

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