Aleph Farms acquires Israel-based manufacturing facility
Aleph Farms has acquired a manufacturing facility in Modi’in, Israel, and certain related assets from biotechnology company VBL Therapeutics (VBLT), for an undisclosed sum.
Five years after producing the ‘first’ cell-grown minute steak, the company has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Esco Aster – a vertically-integrated contract manufacturing organisation – to produce cultivated meat in Singapore.
Didier Toubia, CEO and co-founder of Aleph Farms, said:
“Israel and Singapore are the first two markets where we intend to launch our cultivated thin-cut steak. Building up production capacity quickly in those locations while keeping capital investment lean provides a clear roadmap to scalability.”
He added: “Beyond Israel and Singapore, we plan on building additional strategic assets worldwide as part of our effort to bring more security and resilience to food systems”.
Existing assets acquired from VBLT will be paired with a technology transfer from Aleph Farms’ pilot production facility in Rehovot, Israel, to increase local output in response to more demand for quality protein.
Xiangliang Lin, CEO of Esco Aster and deputy CEO of Esco Lifesciences Group, commented: “Our state-of-the-art facility will enable Aleph Farms to unlock value and ramp up local production in an efficient manner. We look forward to seeing the facility support Aleph Farms’ goals in the future.”
This MOU covers the use of Esco Aster’s manufacturing expertise in producing Aleph Farms’ cultivated meat in Singapore, helping the nation work towards its goal of “30 by 30”— the establishment of agri-food capabilities that can satisfy 30% of the island’s nutritional needs locally and sustainably by 2030. Such terms also position Singapore as a focal point for Aleph Farms’ future expansion in Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region.
“We are proud to be working with Aleph Farms to bring its cultivated steak to Singapore,” said Xiangliang Lin, CEO of Esco Aster and Deputy CEO of Esco Lifesciences Group. “As part of our contract manufacturing MOU, we will work together with religious authorities on obtaining a halal certificate for our facility, enabling our collaboration with Aleph to expand to even more of the broader region.”
Aleph Farms also plans to produce different cuts of steak as well as other products based on animal cells, such as cultivated collagen, through additional proprietary capabilities. From a single fertilised egg, the company says it can grow “thousands of tonnes” of cultivated meat.