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Plant-Based Protein Biotech Raises $3M in Seed Funds

Vertical farm in Finland

Vertical farm in Finland (ifarm.fi, Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IFarm.fi_Vertical_farm_Finland.jpg)

26 Nov. 2021. A biotechnology start-up producing proteins with more sustainable and less costly plant-based processes is raising $3 million in its seed funding round. Tiamat Sciences in Durham, North Carolina and Brussels, Belgium is a two year-old enterprise that says its technology can replace many of today’s methods for making synthetic proteins using conventional bioreactors and animals.

Tiamat Sciences is developing protein reagents with a process it calls plant molecular farming. That process, says the company, uses computational methods and biotechnology for protein design, with vertical farming where crops are grown in stacked layers, often indoors under controlled conditions. The company is developing its synthetic plant-based proteins for use in cultivated and alternative meats, regenerative medicine, and new vaccines.

“Plants are a great system to work with,” says Tiamat Sciences founder and CEO France-Emmanuelle Adil in a company statement released through Cision. “They grow fast, are small water and energy consumers, and they are compostable. The technology offers flexibility with production for a diversified product portfolio.”

Produce proteins faster and at one-tenth the cost

Tiamat says it can produce growth factors for cultured meat, cytokines for cell and gene therapies, and enzymes for synthesizing messenger RNA, used in today’s Covid-19 vaccines and other treatments. The company says its plant-based process can produce synthetic proteins faster than current processes, and based on work in its labs, at about one-tenth the cost. When scaled up to industrial production by 2025, says Tiamat, the savings are expected to go much higher. The company says its processes meet industry quality standards, including Generally Recognized as Safe and Good Management Practices, required by regulators.

While Tiamat Sciences is developing its own synthetic protein products, the company is also seeking partnerships with other biotech businesses. Tiamat provides its proteins as subscriptions, and offers licensing and facility set-up services for partners to produce proteins with Tiamat processes on their own. The company plans to build a pilot production plant in Research Triangle Park in Durham, North Carolina.

Tiamat Sciences is raising $3 million in seed funds led by technology investor True Ventures in San Francisco with participation from Social Impact Capital and Cantos. “We follow best-in-class founders into the future,” says True Ventures co-founder Phil Black, “as they invent the missing pieces of their industries.” Black adds Tiamat Sciences’ “innovations in cellular agriculture and biotechnology will advance multiple industries and even the work of other companies in our portfolio.”

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