Cultivated Meat

UK Biotech Multus Unveils World’s First Commercial-Scale Serum-Free Growth Media Facility

British biotech Multus has recently unveiled what it claims is the world’s first commercial-scale production plant for developing affordable, serum-free growth media for the cultivated meat industry. The exact location of the facility has not been revealed yet. 

This expansion comes after the company successfully raised £7.9 million in January to produce its growth media at scale, bolstered by a £2.15 million equity-free grant from Innovate UK through the EIC Accelerator. 

In its initial phase, Multus raised Multus £1.6 million to launch Proliferum M, a growth medium for large-scale use in the food industry. Later, its ingredients received ISO 22000 certification, ensuring they are produced according to food safety standards.

© Multus

Accessing economies of scale

Developing growth media without fetal bovine serum, a critical component for cell growth, has been a controversial, complex, expensive, and time-consuming endeavor that has set back the whole industry.  

As such, this new facility represents a game changer for the cultivated meat industry. Companies can now outsource the production of serum-free growth media, accelerating their products’ entry into the market while channeling their resources into innovation and product development, explained Multus on social media.

Even firms developing their growth media in-house can access economies of scale, ensuring a consistent and reliable supply of growth media, which is crucial for large-scale production, added Multus.

multus animal-free growth medium product
© Multus

Solutions for the food industry

In a similar activity, the Israeli biotech startup BioBetter opened a commercial-scale, food-grade pilot facility to produce growth factors for the cultivated meat industry last September.

Meanwhile, other companies developing FBS-free serums and other innovations to support the production and scale of the cellular agriculture industry include UK’s Bright Biotech, which makes growth factors using proteins obtained from a new molecular farming tech; UK’s Quest Meat, which develops ingredients and bioprocessing tools for the cultivated meat industry to accelerate its progress and also partner with Multus; and the company Biftek from Turkey, which produces an animal-free, bovine muscle growth media.  

Lastly, UK biotech company 3D Bio-Tissues has also developed a cell-boosting media supplement, City-Mix, that it plans to commercialize in China

“Our products provide affordable solutions to growing real animal products – including meat, seafood, dairy, leather, and more – using cells instead of animals. Alternatives on the market today are not designed for the food industry or produced at scale,” commented Multus’ COO Réka Trón last year when the company announced its successful investment round.

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