Chinese biotechnology company CellX and Tofflon, a provider of process support, core equipment, consumables, and system engineering solutions for global drug and food manufacturing, have announced a strategic agreement partnership to build China’s first pilot facility for cultivated meat production.
“… a pilot facility is the cornerstone of CellX’s journey to scale up cultivated meat”
Additionally, the companies announced plans to develop innovative equipment and to build other global facilities for the commercial production of cultivated meat products.
Ziliang Yang, co-founder and CEO of CellX, said: “Tofflon is one of the world’s leading providers of comprehensive solutions for drug and food manufacturing, and their equipment and technologies can be quickly applied to the field of cultivated meat. As part of our strategic partnership, the construction of a pilot facility is the cornerstone of CellX’s journey to scale up cultivated meat production in China.”
China’s first “transparent food space”
With CellX’s technical expertise in cell line development and serum-free media and Tofflon’s extensive biological equipment and production capability, CellX will be able to scale up its suspension cell lines in the thousand-liter bioreactors equipped with Tofflons’ digital and intelligent management systems planned for the pilot facility.
According to CellX, the new plant will be China’s first “transparent food space,” where R&D, pilot production, and public tasting for cultivated meat will meet in one place.
Sustainable future for humankind
Founded in 2020, CellX started as Nanjing Zhouzi raising CNY 20 million (around USD 3 million) in an angel round led by Matrix Partners China. To date, CellX has raised $15M+ and has 40 experts in R&D focusing on building platform technologies with a multi-species approach.
In September 2021, the biotech revealed dishes made with cultivated pork grown with cells from China’s native black pig. In April 2022, CellX partnered with Bluu Seafood to “make cellular agriculture a reality” and advance regulatory approval in Germany and China.
According to the Chinese biotech, the company is also collaborating with top universities and leading companies worldwide to advance the commercialization of cultivated meat and its approval in the APAC region.
Xiaodong Zheng, Tofflon’s chairman, said: “CellX is the leading cultivated meat company in China. With the experience and expertise accumulated in the field of biopharma and food production, Tofflon will help CellX to speed the scaling up of its cultivated meat products, and it hopes to contribute to a sustainable future for humankind.”
The new pilot plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.