Bacterial culture plate examination by a female researcher in microbiology laboratory
Image credit: Manjurul / iStock

BRIEF: Singapore alt-breastmilk startup TurtleTree partners with US biotech Dyadic

February 2, 2021

  • TurtleTree Scientific — the B2B arm of Singaporean cell-based breastmilk startup TurtleTree Labs — has entered into a “fully funded collaboration” with US biotech company Dyadic International.
  • The pair will co-develop recombinant growth factors which can be manufactured in bioreactors at high yields and relatively lower cost.
  • Dyadic says its C1 gene expression platform can lower production costs, accelerate production timeframes, and improve performance of drugs, vaccines, and other biological products.

Why it matters:

Florida-based Dyadic, which was founded in 1979 and IPOd in 2018, could help TurtleTree to significantly scale up its development of growth factors for manufacturing cell-based protein products – including its lab-cultured human breastmilk.

Dyadic’s C1 platform, built around Thermothelomyces heterothallica fungus, can produce recombinant proteins which can be used in growth factors at industrial scales of up to 500,000 liters. It has been used by multinationals including BASF and DuPont.

“We will engineer our hyper-productive C1 cell lines to develop […] growth factors with high bioactivity and yields which can be manufactured at flexible commercial scales and at costs that we anticipate will help TurtleTree accelerate their business,” Ronen Tchelet, Dyadic’s vice president of research and business development, said in a statement.

Max Rye, TurtleTree’s co-founder and chief strategist, said it “has been a challenge” to manufacture human growth factors affordably and at scale.

“It was important for us to partner with Dyadic and C1 to help us overcome this hurdle, without compromising on the safety or efficacy of these growth factors, while lowering our capital and operating expenditures.”


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