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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Hoxton Farms announces strategic hires

Hoxton Farms has announced two senior hires, positioned to accelerate its production timeline and drive conversations with regulators as the company navigates approvals for its first product.

After opening the UK’s first pilot production facility for cell-based fat, Hoxton Farms has announced the appointment of two strategic executive hires from the US’s Eat Just subsidiary Good Meat and Israel’s Aleph Farms, designed to propel the company’s cell-based fat into its next commercialisation phase.

Hoxton Farms' new hires: systems engineering lead Nadav Tal and head of cell biology Vítor Espirito Santo.

Appointed as head of cell biology, Vítor Espirito Santo joined Hoxton Farms from Good Meat, where he was senior director of cellular agriculture. Good Meat is one of the largest cell-ag companies in the world and has raised nearly $270 million since its inception.

At Good Meat, Santo led the team responsible for the world’s first regulatory approval of cell-based meat in Singapore and subsequent approval in the US. The company says that Santo’s leadership contributed to continuous improvements in animal cell lines, producing high-quality meat products with progressively more cost-competitive approaches, while assuring regulatory and safety compliance.

Alongside Santo, Nadav Tal joins Hoxton Farms from Israel’s Aleph Farms to focus on bioreactor development. Nadav was director of R&D engineering at Aleph Farms, which recently submitted a dossier for regulatory approval in the UK and has raised $120 million in financing.

At Aleph Farms, Tal developed proprietary tissue bioreactors specifically engineered for cell-ag. He previously worked at TransAlgae, where he designed novel bioreactors and established an industrial microalgae farm that is still active today.

By making these strategic hires, Hoxton Farms says it will benefit from decades of experience across the novel foods ecosystem, from the development of cultivated products, through growing production to commercial scale and securing regulatory approval.

Vítor Espirito Santo, incoming head of cell biology at Hoxton Farms, said: “Innovation around cultivated meat and fat is advancing rapidly, but lowering costs and gaining approval for these novel foods are the next areas of focus. The combination of plant-based protein and cultivated fat is a fascinating innovation that will create huge commercial opportunities for food companies looking to provide eco-conscious and flexitarian consumers with delicious meat alternatives. I’m excited to move to London and work with an excellent team to develop Hoxton Farms’ groundbreaking R&D into new consumer products built on cultivated fat.”

Santo and Tal’s appointments follow the recent opening of Hoxton Farms’ 14,000-square-foot pilot facility in London, UK – the country's first for the production of cell-based animal fat.

Max Jamilly, co-founder of Hoxton Farms, added: “Our recently opened pilot facility is a statement of our intent to scale up our production and bring world-class talent to the UK. We’re excited to welcome Vítor and Nadav to our incredible team. They both bring unparalleled experience in the cultivated meat ecosystem, and working with them will accelerate our ability to realise our commercial goals over the coming years.”

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