The perfect day to start a biotech-as-a-service business

Dive Brief:

  • Precision fermentation leader Perfect Day is launching nth Bio, an enterprise biology business that helps companies get into the space with technology and grow services. It is based out of the company’s Salt Lake City hub.
  • Finnish egg white protein producer Onego Bio is the first company to work with nth Bio. Onego uses precision fermentation to produce ovalbumin, which is abundant in the egg yolk. The company plans to first enter the US market with products such as bakery and confectionery ingredients and protein supplements, and eventually to produce branded bakery products for consumers.
  • Perfect Day, which produces animal-free whey protein, was one of the first food companies to use fermentation technology to produce proteins found naturally in other sources. It has raised $711.5 million in its lifetime, Crunchbase says, and has a wide range of consumer products on the market using proteins.

Dive Insight:

When Perfect Day started, co-founders Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi were trying to create a cruelty-free, animal-free version of real dairy, the company’s head of global business, Ravi Jalla, said in an interview. And they did that, raising millions of dollars, creating key partnerships and creating products. Perfect Day created an affiliated CPG company, The Urgent Company, to make products with the brand’s brand of animal-free Perfect Day dairy as a central ingredient.

While the science of precision fermentation is not new, it has been used primarily in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries for years, and has had very limited use in food until the perfect day.

Today precision fermentation is an area ripe for growth and the science is attracting many new startups. As a fine dining institution By the end of 2021, there were 39 companies worldwide dedicated to precision fermentation of food, accounting for 44% of all fermentation-based alternative protein companies. Nine of the 15 fermentation companies starting in 2021 will use precision fermentation.

Thanks to good science and business decisions, timing and key early partnerships, including with ADM, Perfect Day is currently the only branded company using precision fermentation for consumer products. Perfect Day realized, according to Jala, that as it grew, the company could do more to help others get into the space. Acquiring the tools and equipment needed to create the right bakery ingredients that meet FDA food safety requirements is challenging and expensive. There aren’t many companies that know how to do it either.

“The perfect day is here to help companies at the right boiling point truly close the gap from stress to scale,” Jahala said. “That’s really what we’re trying to achieve. And we want companies to know there’s a way forward, you don’t have to cut your interests short. Basically, with the services we provide, you can go from soup to nuts.

The 58,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Salt Lake City facility that nth Bio operates will be fully operational by August, Jahala said.

Onego Bio is a subsidiary of Finland’s VTT Technical Research and Development Center, and has been developing precision fermentation technology for the past several years. It raised 14.5 million euros ($14.5 million) in its latest funding round from Business Finland earlier this month. Onego Bio and Perfect Day say the new partnership is speeding up the time to market, but did not provide any details on the proposed timeline.

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