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BRAIN Biotech to help Formo scale production of bioidentical milk protein

10 February 2022

The partnership will utilise proprietary genome editing technology

In a recent press release, Germany-based BRAIN Biotech AG and Formo Bio GmbH announced that they are launching a strategic collaboration to further advance the production of animal-free milk proteins. BRAIN Biotech is an industrial biotechnology company and Formo is a pioneering food-tech startup in the space of alternative milk protein.

Formo will scale up their bioidentical milk protein production with a genome editing technology, leveraging BRAIN Biotech's expertise and its proprietary BEC platform. The alliance aims to optimise the microorganisms to further expand novel and sustainable protein production for commercial use through precision fermentation.

Formo is introducing an entirely novel product category alongside both animal-derived products and plant-based alternatives: The Berlin-based startup develops identical milk proteins with specialized microorganisms. Formo strives to revolutionize the $700 billion dairy market while cutting down on gigatons of CO2 emissions. Formo said it builds on increasing consumer demand for sustainable food. Recently, the company conducted a consumer survey confirming that 79% of consumers are willing to try animal-free cheese products.

"We are proud to be partnering with BRAIN, such a renowned company with which we share our passion for biotechnology and the mission to foster sustainability," said Britta Winterberg, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Formo. "Using precision fermentation, we can remove the cow from the dairy supply chain, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 91 to 97%."

"With the expertise of top-notch scientists in our team and with a dedicated partner in strain engineering, our products can be the first of their kind produced on an industrial scale and offered at competitive prices," Winterberg added. "By partnering with BRAIN, we can establish our role as a global market leader at a more rapid pace."

Michael Krohn, head of R&D at BRAIN Biotech AG, said the company is looking forward to providing Formo with its genome editing expertise and proprietary BEC nuclease to support strain development for the production of animal-free cheese products. 

"Precision fermentation is an example of how genome editing technology can be used to generate a protein that is nature-identical but can be produced more sustainably than animal protein," he said.

"Formo is a pioneer in many respects," added Martin Langer, EVP and head of business development at BRAIN Biotech AG. "Their agile decision-making processes, their candid approach to negotiations and their clear ideas on how to market their products in Europe make Formo an ideal strategic partner for BRAIN."



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