Cellular agriculture biotech 108Labs is developing “whole-human infant formula” that contains the biosimilar secretory antimicrobial antibodies from mother’s milk. The discovery, made during the development of its patent-pending Colostrupedics formula, could provide newborns with protection against gastrointestinal pathogens, putting 108Labs’ cell-based solution at the forefront of disrupting the infant nutrition market.
108Labs, the U.S.-based biotech founded at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, has revealed that its Colostrupedics whole-human infant formula is the first cell-cultured human milk to contain broadly-neutralising human secretory antibodies. Announced earlier in March, the company says that their discovery of novel secretory antibody biosynthesis could potentially protect infants from gastrointestinal pathogens, while also offering balanced nutrition.
“After a long journey, it is an exciting day to emerge with such an innovative product vision and major scientific milestones behind us,” said Shayne Giuliano, co-founder and CEO of 108Labs. “108Labs has long dreamed of a day when mothers do not have to compromise on nutritional or antimicrobial benefits when deciding how to feed their newborns.”
Founded in 2013, 108Labs is only among a handful of companies leveraging cellular agriculture technology to develop sustainable, healthy and safe alternatives to disrupt the lucrative US$45 billion infant milk formula industry that has long been at the helm of dairy giants.
108Labs has long dreamed of a day when mothers do not have to compromise on nutritional or antimicrobial benefits when deciding how to feed their newborns.Shayne Giuliano, Co-Founder & CEO, 108Labs
Among them are Singapore-based biotech TurtleTree Labs, who are working on lab-grown cow’s milk in addition to human milk for babies, and Biomilq, a women-led startup in the U.S. dedicated to culturing human breast milk, whose personalised nutraceutical science behind its technology was invented by 108Labs. Giuliano co-founded 108Labs with Leila Strickland, who created Biomilq with Michelle Egger.
108Labs’ patent-pending technology uses human cell-cultured molecules, sugars, probiotic HMO, bioactive human proteins, as well as nutritionally dense human lipids that have been evolved in mothers to develop a “whole-human” infant formula.
According to the firm, their formula boasts a healthier amino acid pattern, fully human protein sequences, and human oligosaccharides that are typically missing in bovine-based formulas on the market – and now, also offers the antimicrobial antibodies that have naturally evolved against mucosal pathogens.
Launching Colostrupedics whole-human infant formula with the world’s first human secretory antibody ingredient is a major step in our mission to replace bovine with healthier whole-human milk worldwide by 2040.Shayne Giuliano, Co-Founder & CEO, 108Labs
While we are likely still years away until cell-based solutions for infant milks will reach the market, 108Labs says that it is now running pre-clinical safety and efficacy studies in preparation for infant nutritional trials of its whole-human infant formula with the ultimate aim to commercialise and replace the need for its conventional cow’s milk-based counterparts.
“Launching Colostrupedics whole-human infant formula with the world’s first human secretory antibody ingredient is a major step in our mission to replace bovine with healthier whole-human milk worldwide by 2040,” said Giuliano.
While cultured meats have typically garnered most of the spotlight in the cultivated alternative protein space, cell-based infant formula will be invaluable especially from a health and nutrition standpoint, for mothers who may not be able to breastfeed for medical reasons and other exceptional circumstances, such as babies in foster care.
Lead image courtesy of 108Labs.