Biotechnology start-up TurtleTree aims to produce breast milk and its naturally occurring components through cell-based technology

TurtleTree Scientific, the growth factor arm of cell-based start-up TurtleTree Labs, has signed a letter of intent to collaborate with cell media supplier JSBiosciences. Both companies seek to create cell culture media on a commercial scale.

Singapore-based TurtleTree is a biotechnology start-up focused on producing milk and its naturally occurring components through cell-based technology. The company also plans to produce breast milk with the aim of closing the gap in goodness between infant formula and natural breast milk.

The start-up launched TurtleTree Scientific in January as its cell media business unit. It’s focused on creating food-grade growth factors for cultured protein products.

JSBiosciences is a cell culture media supplier with R&D laboratories in the US, China, and Singapore. TurtleTree stated that its partnership with a larger supplier of food-grade basal media and media formulation services will drive down costs for its customers, clearing a path for large-scale production of its proprietary cell agriculture technology.

Fengru Lin, chief executive of TurtleTree, said: “We are employing the best available scientific research technologies to fill a major gap in infant nutrition, with the goal of benefitting the long-term health of babies, parents, and the planet. Working with JSBioscience will enable TurtleTree to integrate biopharmaceutical technology into the entire cell agriculture industry.”

This is the second partnership that TurtleTree Scientific secures this year. In February, it announced a collaboration with biotech company Dyadic International for the development of recombinant food-grade growth factors for proteins that can be grown in high yields at lower costs in bioreactors.

Investor’s view

TurtleTree is a portfolio company of Vancouver-headquartered Eat Beyond Global Holdings.

Eat Beyond chief executive Patrick Morris added: “The team at Eat Beyond sees cell agriculture technology as a key area in the future of food. Companies like TurtleTree have the potential to reinvent our food systems in a positive, more sustainable way.

For Morris, Singapore is truly the epicentre of cell agriculture. “We have put a strategic focus on the area in order to participate in and support the growth of this sector as much as possible,” he concluded.

Morris is one the speaker panel of the upcoming NutritionInvestor webinar, discussing late-stage capital, IPOs, SPAC merger and the stock market.

Date published: 30 March 2021

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