Israel’s Aleph Farms has announced that it has relocated to new 65,000 square foot headquarters in Rehovot, which will allow the cultivated meat company to increase production by six-fold. Production of thin-cut beef steaks will be the initial focus.
An onsite R&D centre is now being planned, to continue developing market-leading technology. International marketing and distribution are planned for the last quarter of 2022, though regulatory approval is still pending. Last year, Aleph Farms raised $105 million in a Series B round. At the time, scaling of manufacturing capabilities was listed as a funding driver. With this now in place, the other chief objective, global expansion ahead of commercial launch, can be addressed.
Predicting market demand
Aleph’s new plant will allow 10 tonnes of cultivated steak to be produced every year. The versatile thin beef development is designed to accelerate approval processes. Despite only just moving to the new location, even bigger manufacturing premises are being eyed for construction by 2024.
“Aleph Farms’ team is passionate about changing the world around us, one bite at a time,” Eyal Rivlin, vice president of production and operations said in a statement. “Our new facility enables us to scale our production capabilities and launch limited quantities of our steak around the end of the year, pending regulatory approval. We’ve worked hard to get here, and it is exciting to see the infrastructure that will help bring our vision to life.”
Both the new and existing Aleph offices enjoy prime positioning within the Israeli biotech hub of Rehovot. More than 100 team members are expected to migrate to the new location.
Incubating new ideas
Alongside the opening of new premises, Aleph is celebrating its new Aleph Frontiers division. Described as being an incubator for new ideas, it will act as a fast track method for assessing viability of new products and concepts. The company’s newly promoted chief technical officer, Dr. Neta Levon, will be taking point in the Frontiers project. Evolution of tech capabilities for a variety of cultivated products will be an ongoing focus, as part of her R&D role.
“We are committed to driving impact through innovation,” Levon said in a statement. “This is why we have been hyper-focused on developing the most advanced technology in the cultivated meat industry. Expanding our R&D footprint in this new facility will help us drive exciting new advancements for the field of cultivated animal products.”
News of Aleph’s relocation and scaling comes after the announcement of an industry-significant strategic partnership in December last year. Aleph revealed that it will be working with Germany’s Wacker in an open supply chain development. Wacker will supply food-grade growth medium proteins to Aleph for all of its prototypes and products in a non-exclusive agreement. Aleph hopes that this will allow for faster development of cost-effective mediums, thus progressing the entre cultivated industry on an expedited timescale.
Bringing cultivated meat one step closer
Another company looking to accelerate the acceptance of cultivated meat is British biotech CellulaREvolution. The startup just announced a successful pre-Series A funding round that generated £1.75 million for more R&D on its continuous cell cultivation tech. The methodology is said to be an answer to meeting price parity with conventional meat quickly, as traditional batch development of cell culture systems is still cost-prohibitive.
All photos by Aleph Farms.