Recently a select group of 20 workers and visitors gathered at an occasion space on the San Francisco Bay, and, while watching out at the Bay Bridge, dined on a choice of choice elk sausages, Wagyu meatloaf and lamb burgers — — all of which were grown from a petri dish.
The supper was a coming out party for Orbillion Bio, a new startup pitching today in Y Combinator’s latest demo day, that’s seeking to take lab-grown meats from the supermarket to high-end, bespoke butcher stores.
Instead of concentrating on beef, pork and chicken, Orbillion is pursuing so-called heritage meats — — the abovementioned elk, lamb and Wagyu beef to begin.
By focusing on more expensive-end products, Orbillion doesn’t have as much pressure to slash costs as significantly as other business in the cellular meat market, the thinking goes.
There’s more to the innovation than its bougie beef, elite elk and luscious lamb meat.
“Orbillion uses an unique accelerated advancement process producing thousands of small tissue samples, constantly repeating to find the very best tissue and media mixes,” according to Holly Jacobus, whose company, Joyance Partners, is an early investor in Orbillion. “This is much less expensive and more effective than traditional methods and will allow them to react rapidly to the impressive need they’re already experiencing.”
The business runs its multiple cell lines through a system of small bioreactors. Orbillion couples that with a high throughput screening and artificial intelligence software system to construct out a database of enhanced tissue and media mixes.”The key to making lab grown meat work scalably is picking the right cells cultured in the most effective method possible,”Jacobus composed. Orbillion is co-founded by a deeply technical and extremely skilled team of executives that’s led by Patricia Bubner, a former scientist at the German pharmaceutical huge Boehringer Ingelheim. Signing Up With Bubner is Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, a previous director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, who was a post-doc at Berkeley with Bubner and works as the business’s primary technology officer. Rounding out the senior management is Samet Yildirim, the chief operating officer and a veteran executive of Boehringer Ingelheim (he in fact acted as Bubner’s employer).
Orbillion Bio co-founders Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, CTO; Patricia Bubner, CEO; and Samet Yildirim, COO. Image Credit: Orbillion Bio For Bubner, the focus on heritage meats is as much a function of her background maturing in rural Austria as it has to do with economics. A longtime, self-described food lover and a geek, Bubner went into chemistry because she eventually wanted to use science to the food organization. And she desires Orbillion to make not simply meat,
but the most tasty meats. It’s an aim that fits with the number of other companies have approached the market when they’re aiming to commercialize a novel innovation. Higher-end items, or items with special taste profiles that are unique to the production innovations offered, are most likely to be commercially viable sooner than those taking on product items. Why focus on angus beef when you can concentrate on a lot more delicious breed of animal?
For Bubner, it’s not practically making a pork replacement, it’s about making the tastiest pork replacement.
“I’m just fascinated and can see the future in us being able to further modification the method we produce food to be more efficient,” she stated. “We’re at this inflection point. I’m a geek, I’m a food lover, and I truly wished to use my skills to make a modification. I wished to be part of that group of individuals that can actually have an influence on the way we eat. For me there’s no doubt that a large portion of our food will be from alternative proteins — — plant based, fermentation and lab-grown meat.”
Joining Boehringer Ingelheim was a method for Bubner to end up being grounded on the planet of big bioprocessing. It was preparation for her venture into lab-grown meat, she stated.
“We are an item business. Our objective is to make the most flavorful steaks. Our very first item will not be whole cuts of steak. The first item is going to be a Wagyu beef product that we intend on putting out in 2023,” Bubner said. “It’s a product that’s going to be based on more of a minced product. Believe Wagyu sashimi.”
To get to market, Bubner sees the requirement not just for a new approach to cultivating choice meats, however a new way of growing other inputs as well, from the tissue scaffolding required to make larger cuts that resemble conventional cuts of meat, or the fats that will need to be combined with the meat cells to give taste.
That means there are still opportunities for companies like Future Fields, Matrix Meats and Turtle Tree Scientific to supply inputs that are incorporated into the final, branded product.
Bubner’s likewise considering the supply chain beyond her instant prospective partners in the manufacturing procedure. “Part of my household were farmers and construction workers and the others were civil engineers and architects. I hold farmers in high regard… … and believe individuals who grow the food and breed the animals don’t get recognition for the work that they do.”
She visualizes working in show with farmers and breeders in a sort of licensing plan, possibly, where the owners of the animals that produce the cell lines can share in the benefits of their popularization and larger business production.