Singaporean cell-based milk company TurtleTree Labs has created an arm called TurtleTree Scientific to produce food-grade growth factors. Cell-based companies are reliant on growth factors, but their high cost means that the industry currently struggles to be economically viable.
TurtleTree Scientific will focus on developing high-quality and affordable growth factors that can be produced in high volumes. Many of the growth factors currently available are produced by the pharmaceutical industry, but those produced by TurtleTree will come at a fraction of the cost.
TurtleTree Scientific will begin by working with cell-based meat companies — this is significant because Singapore has become the first country in the world to approve the sale of cell-based meat. Growth factors are also in demand in the life sciences industry.
In early 2020, TurtleTree Labs became the first company ever to produce cell-based human breast milk. In June, it raised $3.2M in its seed funding round, followed by $6.2M in its Pre-A funding round in December.
“The exciting work being done at TurtleTree Labs is happening with tremendous support from the government, and other governments need to follow Singapore’s lead,” said Bruce Fredrich, executive director of the Good Food Institute. “Governments are interested in stopping the next pandemic and in keeping antibiotics working, and they want to meet their climate obligations under the Paris climate agreement, so they should be following Singapore’s lead and doing all they can to create a welcoming environment for innovative companies like TurtleTree Labs.”