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Swedish start-up Ironic Biotech has successfully closed a pre-seed funding round of €1 million, led by Nordic Foodtech VC.

Ironic Biotech has discovered a new generation of plant-derived proteins that contain iron, which it says are ‘highly bioavailable with no side effects’. The proteins – which are produced through precision fermentation – can be used as ingredients in food or food supplements.

Ironic Biotech will use the funding to further its R&D work, expand its patent portfolio and optimise the production process. The start-up has announced that it is readily looking for partners in the food and food supplement industry to work with.

Nélida Leiva Eriksson, CEO and founder of Ironic Biotech, said: “We want to help 2 billion people to prevent and recover from iron deficiency and anemia. The lack of iron is partly responsible for the performance gap between males and females, as women naturally lose iron regularly. The situation is widely unaddressed – a sad story that applies to many female health issues, iron deficiency not being an exception.”

Up to 25% of the world’s population suffering from iron deficiency, which can lead to severe exhaustion, fatigue, heart palpitations, learning disabilities and anemia. Many consumers bolster their iron intake with iron supplements, which Ironic Biotech stated can cause various side effects, from digestive problems to nausea and even organ damage.

Louise Heiberg, investment director at Nordic Foodtech VC, commented: “New ingredients like this enable the food industry to tackle a global health problem with new products. Worries about iron uptake are also a significant barrier to reducing the use of red meat in the Western diet. Putting a fundamental innovation like this to work takes effort, talent, and a bit of time. As an early investor, we work tightly with the team to build a solid foundation for success."

Unlike current supplements, Ironic Biotech’s patented compounds have none of the side effects that most iron supplements can cause. The compounds are tasteless, and due to their stable form, can be stored at room temperature for long periods of time.

The absorption rates are comparable to the iron in meat – this differs from traditional iron supplements where more than 90% of the iron goes through our digestive tract, as our bodies are unable to absorb it. Ironic Biotech's plant-derived proteins can help companies looking for ways to make their products fit predominantly plant-based diets.

#IronicBiotech #Sweden

Ironic Biotech closes €1m pre-seed funding round

Phoebe Fraser

5 April 2024

Ironic Biotech closes €1m pre-seed funding round

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