Agricultural biotech Ceres (NASDAQ:CERE) drops 9% premarket on modest volume in response to its announcement that it has entered into a securities purchase agreement with certain institutional investors for the sale of 1,598,478 shares of common stock at $1.22 per share and warrants to purchase up to 1,198,859 shares of stock at $1.22 at a price of $0.09375 per warrant. The warrants are exercisable in six months.
Thinly traded nano cap Ceres (CERE +172.9%) zooms north on a 10x surge in volume in response to its announcement that the USPTO issued a patent covering its iCODE multi-gene trait development system. According to the company, the patent is a key milestone in its plan to further develop and license the technology to other crop companies.
The iCODE system is designed to rapidly create, evaluate and select optimal combinations of genes and their control components for next-generation biotechnology traits in crops like corn and soybean. It utilizes the plant cell's own gene-shuffling system to create thousands of test plants with various combinations of pre-selected genes and promoters (on/off switches for genes).
Ceres (CERE -2.7%) says it will restructure its Brazilian seed operations and is exploring discussions with additional local partners to support the continued development and commercialization of its technology in Brazil.
CERE says the realignment is intended to focus on food and forage opportunities and biotechnology traits for sugarcane and other crops.
Once fully implemented, CERE expects its plan to deliver cash savings of up to $6M-$8M in FY 2016.