Profile: Ceres Inc (CERE.OQ)
Ceres, Inc. (Ceres), incorporated on March 29, 1996, is an agricultural biotechnology company that develops and markets seeds to produce crops for bioenergy and other markets that utilize plant biomass. The Company uses a combination of advanced plant breeding, biotechnology and bioinformatics to develop seed products. It markets its sweet sorghum hybrids as a drop-in feedstock to complement existing feedstock supplies and extend the operating season of Brazilian sugarcane-to-ethanol mills. It also markets its high biomass sorghum products to mills and other agri-industrial facilities for use in generating electricity, heat and steam. It markets and sells its seed products under its Blade brand. It markets its genome viewer software, known as Persephone, to plant and biomedical researchers. It generates revenues from government grants, research and development collaboration agreements and from product sales. The Company’s products include sorghum, switchgrass and miscanthus.
The Company’s sorghum products include sweet, high biomass and forage types. Sweet sorghum is a type of sorghum that accumulates free sugars in its stalk much like sugarcane. To produce ethanol, sweet sorghum juice is extracted through crushing in existing sugarcane equipment, and then fermented to fuel. The leftover biomass, called bagasse, is combusted for biopower like sugarcane bagasse. Its sweet sorghum product line consists of improved, seed varieties and hybrids developed through conventional and marker-assisted breeding. High biomass sorghum is a type of sorghum which is developed and grown for biomass yield potential as opposed to sugar or juice content. Its high biomass sorghum product line consists of improved hybrids developed through conventional and marker-assisted breeding. Forage sorghum is a type of sorghum that shares many of the characteristics of sweet and high biomass types. Forage sorghum is grown as silage for livestock. Its forage products consist of improved hybrids selected from its sweet and high biomass product development pipeline. The Company is also developing sorghum hybrids with biotech traits that offer higher yields. In a 2014 United States field evaluation, one of its biotech traits provided a greater than 20% biomass yield advantage in a commercial-type sorghum.
Switchgrass is a perennial grass that tolerates a range of environmental conditions and offers high biomass yield potential compared to many other perennial grasses and crop plants. It generally requires less water and nitrogen fertilizer than corn, and can grow under semi-arid conditions. Like sorghum, switchgrass is seed propagated. As a perennial, switchgrass is generally not harvested for sale during the first year when the crop is being established. A properly managed stand of switchgrass may persist for a decade. The Company’s switchgrass products have demonstrated higher biomass yields on average over comparable varieties depending on the variety and trial location. In its development pipeline, it has switchgrass varieties that can offer additional increases in biomass, including the first hybrid switchgrass developed for bioenergy.
The Miscanthus genus includes a range of perennial species that can be used as dedicated energy crops. A common variety adopted in the United States and Europe is a sterile hybrid of two miscanthus species. The Company through its collaboration with the Institute of Biological, Environmental, and Rural Sciences of Aberystwyth University (IBERS) in Wales, United Kingdom and the Sustainable Bioenergy Centre of the United Kingdom’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is developing seed-propagated varieties that have the same high-yielding attributes of comparable vegetatively propagated miscanthus hybrids, with establishment costs and propagation speed more comparable to other energy crops.
The Company competes with Advanta India Limited, The Dow Chemical Company, Monsanto Company, Pioneer Hi-Bred (DuPont), KWS Saat AG and Syngenta AG.
1535 Rancho Conejo Blvd
THOUSAND OAKS CA 91320-1440