Jellatech, a new North Carolina-based biotech startup, announced they successfully created its first animal-free cell-based collagen. The company was created in 2020 with a mission to eliminate animals from the food system, beginning with collagen and gelatin.
Jellatech recently revealed the success of its first full-length, triple-helical, and functional collagen made from its own cell lines. The company was founded in 2020 by Stephanie Michelsen, who was included in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list last year and secured $2 million in seed funding. They also just received an investment from cellular-focused VC firm CULT Food Sciences.
Other companies have used fermentation and plant-based collagen, but the applicated are limited because they are not bio-identical to animal-derived collagen. This is the issue that Jellatech figured out how to solve with their cell-based product.
“This is a major milestone for us and I am beyond proud and excited that we are already here. Being able to see our clean cell-based collagen with the naked eye – it brings happy tears,” said Michelsen.
Collagen is a by-product of the meat industry and is a unique and abundant protein in mammals. Collagen is used across industries and makes up an $8.4 billion market, including biomedical, health, personal care & beauty, materials, and food & beverage industry applications, according to the company.
Unfortunately, this protein is only found in animals, and with the growing need for sustainability and supply chain challenges, many companies are looking for better sources of collagen.
“This is what we are changing at Jellatech. We make functional, native collagen – without animals.”
This advancement will be amazing for the food industry, the environment, and animals!
“Cellular agriculture enables us to produce a more sustainable, smarter high-quality collagen that breaks the cycle of relying on an inefficient and unethical supply chain of live animals.”
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