“Tiamat is on a mission to remove animals from science and to fuel the next biotechnology revolutions. We are reinventing biomolecules production because our future is animal-free.” – Tiamat website
DURHAM – A Durham startup looking to cash in on production of non-animal based proteins at lower costs has landed $3 million in financing and says it will build a production plant in the Triangle. And its technology and leadership is impressive enough to land funding from Silicon Valley.
The company is Tiamat Sciences, a two-year-old venture with proprietary technology that could be ready to cash in on the growing wave of demand for so-called “fake meat” from such firms as Beyond Meat. The firm says it’s ready to launch a “protein revolution.”
The funder is True Venters. Also participating are Social Impact Capital and Cantose.
“We follow best-in-class founders into the future as they invent the missing pieces of their industries,” said Phil Black, co-founder of True Ventures. “This is absolutely the case with the Tiamat team. Their innovations in cellular agriculture and biotechnology will advance multiple industries and even the work of other companies in our portfolio. We’re here to play a supporting role in this exciting shift to a more plant-based future.”
Tiama announced the funding early Wednesday.
“Our technology can help to promote animal-free alternatives not only for food but also for the pharmaceutical industry,” said France-Emmanuelle Adil, Tiamat’s founder and CEO. “Plants are a great system to work with; they grow fast, are small water and energy consumers, and they are compostable. The technology offers flexibility with production for a diversified product portfolio.”
According to her LinkedIn profile, Adil says she is: “Committed for the environment and willing to find solutions for better tomorrows, I created the tiamat project. The goal: to offer ecological and ethical raw materials to biotechnology companies, public research labs and pharmaceutical actors. Follow the project and help us to build a better future for the health industry.”
A graduate of Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, she worked at one time at GSK and then spent three years at Bone Therapeutics.
Tiamat has developed what it calls a proprietary “plant molecular farming platform” that replaces “costly bioreactors” with plants at a “fraction of the cost” of other technology. It includes biotech, vertical farming and computational design.
“These new fields rely on reagents accounting for more than 80% of the production cost. But Tiamat offers key proteins 10X cheaper than the current market offers with fermentation technologies,” Tiamat says. Full-scale production could reduce costs much more, the firm adds.
The technology also could be used in regenerative medicine and vaccine production, the company adds.
Tiamat already has operations in Durham and Belgium.
“From regenerative medicine to cellular agriculture, numerous companies are looking for animal-free solutions for their activities,” said Adil. “Our exclusive plant-based production system allows us to answer those needs with a wide range of reagents. By targeting nascent markets on the verge of scale-up, we’ve already demonstrated significant traction for our solutions and an early revenue potential that is outstanding for a biotech startup.”