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Ceres Awarded Australian Patent for Trait Technology

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ceres, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERE), an agricultural biotechnology company focused on forage crops, has been awarded an Australian patent for a trait that allows growers to increase yields without increasing crop inputs like fertilizer. The patent extends intellectual property protection to the Australian market of a key gene that Ceres has licensed to a multinational crop developer.

The patent covers uses of the gene in crops such as corn, soybean, sorghum, sugarcane, sugarbeet and wheat. Ceres plans to offer seed companies a license to the technology in crops not already licensed. The genetic sequences of the trait were derived from a plant and optimized by Ceres. Experimental results have demonstrated significant yield increases in several plant species. Increases in productivity per acre can have a significant impact on farm income as well as reduce the overall footprint of agricultural production.

Ceres President and CEO Richard Hamilton said that the company was pleased to achieve this award in Australia, which it pursued at the request of its collaboration partner. “We believe that our next-generation traits can provide multiple opportunities for producers to increase productivity, reduce inputs and make greater use of marginal cropland.” He noted that agricultural markets have well-established systems to share the value of trait innovations among growers, seed companies and trait developers like Ceres.

The new patent for this invention was issued by IP Australia, the government agency responsible for patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder's rights, as Patent No. AU 2010276372 B2. The patent is due to expire on July 20, 2030. Ceres owns or maintains exclusive licensed rights to approximately 95 issued patents and numerous pending patent applications in the United States and in various foreign jurisdictions.

About Ceres

Ceres, Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company that develops and markets seeds and traits to produce crops for animal feed, sugar and other markets. The company’s advanced plant breeding and biotechnology platforms, which can increase crop productivity, improve quality, reduce crop inputs and improve cultivation on marginal land, have broad application across multiple crops. Ceres markets its seed products under its Blade brand. The company also licenses its biotech traits and technology, including its Persephone genome visualization software, to other life science companies and organizations.

Ceres Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, including statements regarding Ceres’ efforts to develop and commercialize its products and technologies, anticipated yields and product performance, status of crop plantings, short-term and long-term business strategies, market and industry expectations, future operating metrics, and future results of operations and financial position, including anticipated cost savings from the company’s restructuring plan and projected cash expenditures, are forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Ceres’ control. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in Ceres’ filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ceres undertakes no obligation to update publicly, except to the extent required by law, any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date the company issues this press release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in the company’s expectations.

Contact: Ceres, Inc. Gary Koppenjan (805) 375-7801 ir@ceres.net

Source:Ceres, Inc.