CellRev publishes white paper on the future of commercial-scale cell manufacturing
CellRev, the bioprocessing company transforming adherent cell cultivation, has today launched a white paper, The Future of Commercial-Scale Cell Manufacturing.
The white paper discusses the current cell-ag landscape, highlighting challenges around investment and opportunities for innovation that could help meet the forecast demand for cell culture.
The paper sources opinions from a group of experts from the worlds of bioprocessing, cell-ag and biopharma, and finds that innovation is required in all areas. It says that increasing scale is necessary to introduce cell-based products to the mainstream and to make them commercially viable. This requires large facilities, which the report says would only be viable with “considerable investment,” pointing out that livestock farmers receive far more public funding than cell-based meat companies.
Elliot Swartz, principal scientist in cultivated meat at The Good Food Institute, said: “The meta long-term challenge to the cultivated meat industry is cost and of course that’s linked to scale as well. There are two buckets for cost, one is the cell culture media and the other is infrastructure. Not just buildings, but the equipment in those buildings as well, such as bioreactors.”
He continued: “We need investors or strategic partners, like large multinational corporations, to take on the funding of these initial scale-up facilities and governments to incentivise the infrastructure as they’ve done in other industries like renewable energy. Building a pilot factory is one thing, but building a full-scale commercial facility that can output thousands of tonnes of product per year is another story.”
As well as discussing the challenges, the paper also highlights key opportunities for innovation that the cell-based meat industry is exploring, such as other bioprocess designs or bioreactor types for manufacturing. Most current equipment and processes are des not specifically designed for use in food manufacturing and not ideal for growing whole animal tissues. New, more suitable methods could help scale-up the industry.
“There’s an opportunity to create bioprocesses as well as equipment that is more fit for purpose for manufacturing food rather than just manufacturing other biologic products,” Swartz added. “With meat obviously, the cells are the end product, and, in some cases, we want to actually create whole tissues and be able to harvest them. A lot of these technologies that companies use in the sector today are borrowed.”
Timo Keijzer, bioprocessing specialist and director of product marketing at medical tech company Getinge commented: “In the cultivated meat industry, the cost of the bioreactor systems or overall manufacturing processes definitely needs to be addressed, just to be competitive with the current supply of meat in the field. Without these kinds of technological developments, I don’t think it’s possible to maintain the way of living that we currently have.”
Earlier this month, CellRev announced it had signed a joint development agreement (JDA) with Saint-Gobain Life Sciences (SGLS) to reduce the price of cell-based meat.
Under the JDA, the companies will initiate the development of a solution that can remove toxins and replenish spent media, allowing it to be circulated back into the cell cultivation process.