Bright Biotech Closes Oversubscribed Round for “Game-Changing” Plant Chloroplast Technology
UK-based Bright Biotech has secured $3.2 million in funding in an oversubscribed seed round. The startup’s technology harnesses valuable proteins in the chloroplasts of plants that can help cultivated meat companies achieve industrial production affordably.
More expensive than diamonds
Growth factors make up at least 55% of the marginal cost of cultivated meat. According to Bright Biotech, astonishingly, growth factors can cost several million dollars per gram making them more expensive by weight than diamonds.
As a solution to this bottleneck, the Manchester startup says it can manufacture and supply premium growth factors at minimal cost using proteins produced by plants, through an innovative technology that harnesses chloroplasts to express large amounts of high-value proteins with large yields. It adds that its chloroplast-based expression is light-driven, animal and microbial-free, and highly scalable.
The funding round was led by FoodLabs, Big Idea Ventures, CPT Capital (which backed Hoxton Farms), the FoodHack syndicate, and business angels. The investment will foster R&D for a new plant genetic engineering method to make affordable growth factors for cultivating cells, expand its team of high-profile scientists, and scale its manufacturing operations.
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