Home » Triplebar Bio, FrieslandCampina Partner for Precision Fermentation Lactoferrin

Triplebar Bio, FrieslandCampina Partner for Precision Fermentation Lactoferrin

by Kehinde Giwa
  • Revolutionising Lactoferrin Production: Triplebar Bio and FrieslandCampina Ingredients partner to innovate lactoferrin production via precision fermentation, overcoming challenges of extraction from milk.
  • Technological Advancements: Triplebar Bio, founded in 2019 by Dr. Jeremy Agresti, introduces a screening platform combining microfluidics and rapid testing, enhanced by AI and machine learning, enabling efficient biomanufacturing platforms.
  • Economic Viability: Despite challenges in manufacturing whey and casein proteins, the lucrative market price of bovine lactoferrin, ranging from $700 to $2,000 per kilo, makes microbial production financially attractive, according to Triplebar CEO Maria Cho.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Triplebar collaborates with UMAMI Bioworks to optimise cell lines for cultivated seafood production, utilising Triplebar’s advanced capabilities to expedite development without genetic modification.

California startup Triplebar Bio and FrieslandCampina Ingredients have joined forces to revolutionise lactoferrin production through precision fermentation

Lactoferrin, a bioactive milk protein known for its iron-binding and antimicrobial properties, has long been coveted for its health benefits in areas such as immunity, iron regulation, digestive health, endurance, and muscle strength. 

However, its limited availability due to the challenges and costs associated with extracting it from milk has hindered its widespread use. Traditionally, thousands of litres of milk are required to yield just one kilogram of lactoferrin.

Through Triplebar Bio’s expertise in genetic engineering and fermentation technology, coupled with FrieslandCampina’s industry-leading capabilities, the collaboration aims to overcome these hurdles by producing lactoferrin in large-scale fermentation tanks. 

By leveraging genetically modified microbes optimised by Triplebar Bio, this innovative approach promises to dramatically increase lactoferrin production efficiency, making it more accessible and cost-effective.

Established in 2019 by biochemist Dr. Jeremy Agresti, Triplebar introduces an innovative screening platform, combining microfluidics and rapid testing, to achieve ‘hyper-throughput’. 

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This cutting-edge technology, enhanced by AI and machine learning, facilitates the creation of highly efficient biomanufacturing platforms utilising microbial or animal cells.

Triplebar’s adaptable cells are engineered to produce a wide range of products, from lactoferrin to premium cell lines for cultivated meat and novel therapeutic biologic drugs. With $25 million raised from investors including Synthesis Capital and The Production Board, Triplebar is poised to revolutionise biotechnology.

Triplebar CEO Maria Cho informed reporters that while the economics of manufacturing whey and casein proteins through precision fermentation can be daunting, the current market price for bovine lactoferrin ranges from $700 to $2,000 per kilo, rendering microbial production economically appealing.

She said: “There are other players working on lactoferrin via precision fermentation [such as TurtleTree and De Novo Foodlabs], but FrieslandCampina Ingredients [a subsidiary of Dutch dairy giant FrieslandCampina] is already a leading player in lactoferrin (which it currently isolates from milk) and other dairy bioactives. Its ability to scale and distribute gives it a clear advantage in the market.

“Lactoferrin is a difficult protein to express. That’s in part because it has anti-microbial qualities [making it inherently more challenging to produce in a microbial system] but also because there needs to be certain glycosylation patterns or sugars on the outside of the protein.

“And historically, it’s been challenging to make this protein in an organism because you’re not seeing that particular pattern.”

Triplebar collaborates with UMAMI Bioworks, focusing on refining cell lines tailored for extensive cultivated seafood production.

Through their partnership, UMAMI harnesses Triplebar’s advanced capabilities to explore countless phenotypic solutions rapidly, compressing the time required for cell line development and enhancement. 

Triplebar’s approach facilitates this acceleration without resorting to genetic modification, as highlighted by CEO Maria Cho.

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