BRAIN Biotech and Formo partner on animal-free milk protein

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Formo is currently working on the animal-free production of fresh cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta. Pic: Formo
Formo is currently working on the animal-free production of fresh cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta. Pic: Formo

Related tags animal-free dairy animal-free Dairy Milk Brain Formo

BRAIN Biotech AG and Formo Bio GmbH are launching a strategic collaboration to further advance the production of animal-free milk proteins.

BRAIN Biotech is an industrial biotechnology company, while Formo is a food-tech startup in the space of alternative milk protein.

Formo will scale up its bioidentical milk protein production with a genome editing technology, leveraging BRAIN Biotech's expertise and its proprietary BEC platform. The strategic alliance aims to optimize the microorganisms to further expand novel and sustainable protein production for commercial use through precision fermentation.

Formo is introducing a novel product category alongside both animal-derived products and plant-based alternatives: The Berlin-based startup develops identical milk proteins with specialized microorganisms. Formo said it is aiming to revolutionize the $700bn dairy market while cutting down on gigatons of CO2 emissions. Recently, the company conducted a consumer survey confirming that 79% of consumers are willing to try animal-free cheese products.

"We are proud to be partnering with BRAIN; such a renowned company with which we share our passion for biotechnology and the mission to foster sustainability: using precision fermentation, we can remove the cow from the dairy supply chain, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 91 to 97%,"​ said Dr Britta Winterberg, co-founder and chief scientific officer at Formo.

"With the expertise of top-notch scientists in our team and with a dedicated partner in strain engineering, our products can be the first of their kind produced on an industrial scale and offered at competitive prices. By partnering with BRAIN, we can establish our role as a global market leader at a more rapid pace."

"We are looking forward to providing Formo with our genome editing expertise and proprietary BEC nuclease to support their strain development for the production of animal-free cheese products. Precision fermentation is an example of how genome editing technology can be used to generate a protein that is nature-identical but can be produced more sustainably than animal protein,"​ said Dr Michael Krohn, head of R&D at BRAIN Biotech AG.

"Formo is a pioneer in many respects. Their agile decision-making processes, their candid approach to negotiations and their clear ideas on how to market their products in Europe make Formo an ideal strategic partner for BRAIN. Combined with our technological expertise, this results in a unique partnership,"​ said Dr Martin Langer, EVP and head of business development at BRAIN Biotech AG.