Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Swan Neck Bio Launches FlexCell for Fast and Affordable Fermentation Scaling

Swan Neck Bio, a spin-off from White Labs Copenhagen, a global leader in fermentation since 1995, has officially entered the market to unlock the biomanufacturing capacity of precision fermentation and biomass companies.

Headquartered in Copenhagen, with supporting labs and production capabilities in the USA (California and North Carolina), Swan Neck Bio leverages a patented “breakthrough” technology developed by White Labs. 

Called FlexCell, the technology allows companies to trial, validate, and scale microorganisms from the lab to 1,000 L more quickly and affordably.

Fábio Faria-Oliveira, CSO of the company, shares: “Our dream is a world where there are no constraints to the innovative biosolutions our world urgently needs if we’re going to support a constantly growing population.” 

Swan Neck Bio has officially entered the market to unlock the biomanufacturing capacity of precision fermentation and biomass companies.
Image courtesy of Swan Neck Bio

Scaling without risks

Troels Prahl, a microbiologist with over 20 years in fermentation science and the CEO of White Labs Copenhagen since 2014, leads the new company in deploying its fermentation methods for novel foods and other biosolutions.

FlexCell is a patented single-use bioreactor technology that Swan Neck Bio says has been proven to be a powerful tool for making premium starter cultures. The tech enables controlled fermentation runs from 5 to 1,000 L. At the same time, it “dramatically” de-risks the scaling process, accelerating the time-to-market while resulting in ten to 100 times cheaper than existing solutions.

Moreover, companies can partner with Swan Neck Bio to avoid high CMDO manufacturing costs for product development or capital expenditures for installing pilot plants. Regarding CDMOs, the company offers these manufacturers solutions for handling and propagating inoculum, a crucial but resource-heavy and labor-intensive step necessary for conducting large-scale fermentation. 

In addition, the company provides tailored designs to optimize various aspects of biomanufacturing, including microorganism robustness, increased yields, enhanced efficiency, and fine-tuning of other critical parameters at the pilot scale.

Image courtesy of Swan Neck Bio

Making an impact with biosolutions

Another unique service involves running parallel experiments, which the company says “reconnect founders and scientists with the scientific method, allowing creativity to thrive during the scaling phase” and minimizes the risk of losing potential breakthroughs during the pilot process.

Swan Neck Bio is named after Louis Pasteur’s groundbreaking 1861 Swan Neck Flask experiment. This experiment disproved spontaneous generation by showing that fermentation requires preexisting microbial life. The company states that the design of the flask used by Pasteur symbolizes this simple yet profound discovery.

Troels Prahl, co-founder and CEO of the company, comments: “Swan Neck Bio exists because too many young biosolutions companies that could make a positive impact aren’t able to scale and commercialize cheaply and quickly enough. With our tech, they can validate and scale at a higher speed and at a fraction of what it cost before.”

The technical committee at Swan Neck Bio draws upon a rich background in the food, biosolutions, and technology sectors at companies including Peakon, Denovium, Noma, Novonesis, Novo Nordisk Foundation, 21st Bio, Synthetic Genomics, and White Labs.

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