Omeat launches “affordable” alternative to foetal bovine serum
US-based cell-based meat start-up Omeat has launched Plenty, an “ethical replacement for foetal bovine serum (FBS) that is equally effective but for a fraction of the cost”.
Omeat has had its first commercial sales of Plenty, positioning it “among the first” revenue-generating cell-based meat companies.
FBS has long been used as a critical agent in the cell-culture process and was instrumental in early pioneering techniques for growing cell-based meat. However, its use is problematic as it is harvested from bovine foetuses that are taken from pregnant cows during their mutual slaughter.
Along with ethical issues, FBS is expensive. These concerns have prompted companies to seek alternatives – Plenty presents an option that is humane, affordable, scalable and highly effective for cell culture.
Plenty is a nutrient-rich cell culture supplement filled with growth factors and cytokines that play an essential role in regenerative medicine, cell culture, and vaccine production of different types of cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) solution.
Founded through the development of Omeat, Plenty was created by a group of Harvard-MIT-trained scientists, including world-renowned top tissue engineer and Omeat's founder & CEO Ali Khademhosseini.
According to Omeat, Plenty is the “first and only” product to offer a cost-effective, consistent solution that is slaughter-free and prioritises animal welfare. Plenty is sourced from regenerative factors that are extracted humanely from healthy, live cows that graze freely on Omeat's farm. The company employs a full-time veterinary and animal-welfare staff and has developed procedures for collection that rely on positive reinforcement and prioritise the comfort and overall well-being of the animals.
The market for Plenty includes any company focused on cell-based meat, regenerative medicine, vaccine production, or one that otherwise employs cell-culture technology. Omeat says that “other FBS alternatives on the market fall short of efficacy and consistency compared to Plenty”.
Khademhosseini said: “When it comes to growth media supplementation, FBS is considered the gold standard. However, FBS has downsides, including high costs, limited and unpredictable supply, and ethical concerns about the FBS harvesting process. Synthetic serum substitutes, defined media, and serum-free media have been developed before as alternatives, but they've come with limitations that have hindered their viability as a replacement to FBS. That's why we developed Plenty: an affordable, effective, and slaughter-free cell culture supplement product."
He continued: "At Omeat, we saw how the implementation of Plenty significantly helped our product, ethos, and overall ecosystem. We're looking forward to scaling and helping other companies that are changing the world, allowing them to achieve their goals with a product they can feel good about using."
Plenty FBS alternative is available for purchase now on the company’s website.