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TurtleTree Labs, a specialist in cell-based milk, has launched TurtleTree Scientific, dedicated to the growth of food-grade growth factors

TurtleTree ScientificTurtleTree Scientific is commercialising the Growth Factors developed by TurtleTree Labs. (Image source: TurtleTree Labs)

Despite the costs of producing cell-based meat declining over the years, the cell culture media and growth factors remain one of the biggest cost contributors, hindering the path to market.

What does this mean for the cellular agriculture industry? In early 2021, TurtleTree Scientific will be working with cell-based meat companies on the production of food-grade growth factors. The prices are expected to be a fraction of pharmaceutical-grade equivalents on the market. As the first country in the world to approve the sale of cell-based meat products, Singapore is strategic as the country is bound to attract the attention of more cell-based companies and has existing customers that it can scale with.

The availability of cost-efficient growth factors will be essential for cellular agriculture to validate its economic feasibility. In addition, Singapore is also a regional biotech hub where quality growth factors are in high demand for their use in the life sciences industry.

Bruce Fredrich, the executive director of Good Food Institute, said, “Singapore for the win again. The exciting work being done at Turtle Tree Labs is happening with tremendous support from the government, and other governments need to follow Singapore’s lead. Governments are interested in stopping the next pandemic and keeping antibiotics working, and governments want to meet their climate obligations under the Paris climate agreement, so governments should be following Singapore’s lead and doing all they can to create a welcoming environment for innovative companies like TurtleTree Labs. Right now, Singapore is in a class by itself; other governments need to step up.”

“Not only are we collaborating with local research institutes like NUS and NTU, but also global institutions like Wageningen University in the Netherlands. We have already started sending some samples to other cell-based meat companies and aim to play a major role in this industry,” said Max Rye, chief strategist of TurtleTree Labs.

TurtleTree Labs has recently raised US$9.4mn from investors which include Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed’s KBW Ventures and Hong Kong venture capital firm Green Monday Ventures. As an arm of TurtleTree Labs, TurtleTree Scientific will have its team of experienced industry players driving it.