Cambridge tech to produce meat in the lab and end slaughter of animals
Stem cell pioneers from Cambridge are helping a new European startup to produce meat in the lab – a move designed to end the slaughter of animals. Meatable, founded in the Netherlands, approached Elpis Biomed in Cambridge and acquired rights to use its technology for generating cultured meat.
Elpis founder Mark Kotter and chief scientific adviser Professor Dr Roger Pedersen, a legendary stem cell thought leader who came to the UK from the US to develop his work, are helping Meatable turn the vision to a profitable product.
Kotter told Business Weekly: “We are very excited about this customer and the potential of the resulting product from our technology.”
Meatable’s plan is to create slaughter-free meat without relying on cow foetus blood, leveraging proprietary stem cell technology.
Meatable says its technology eliminates the need to remove any tissue from an animal — a development that would make it the least invasive method for sourcing cells yet.
Professor Pedersen has become senior adviser at Meatable. He has a distinguished academic track record and demonstrated history of advising in the research industry. He was co-founder of The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and holds an emeritus seat at Stanford University.
Mark Kotter (pictured) is a principal investigator in stem cells and neuroscience at Cambridge University with 18 years of experience in stem cell biology and over 3000 citations. He is the inventor of Meatable’s core technology and he and his team at Elpis Biomed are supporting Meatable in bringing the technology to the field of cell-based meat.
Cells from pigs, cows, and chickens will be carefully monitored and multiplied then formed into burgers, sausages, and meatballs without a single animal being slaughtered.
Elpis Biomed is a cell science specialist spun out from the Laboratory of the Wellcome Trust MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge.
It provides mature human cell types of high purity and consistency for research and drug discovery. They are quick and easy to use (ready within 2+ days from plating), and provide a highly uniform cell population to do experiments on.
The cells are particularly well suited for experiments looking for subtle changes in phenotype, or where a lot of bulk material is needed.
Experiments with its mature human cells are said to be highly reproducible.
Still in its early days, Meatable has raised $3.5 million from three venture capital firms.
Meatable plans to start with beef burgers and sausages and then expand to chicken and pork products and hopes to see beef products in restaurants within four years.