North Carolina-based biotech startup Jellatech reached a major milestone with the production of cell-based collagen. Only 2 years since it was founded, Jellatech successfully developed of a full-length, triple helical and functional collagen made from their own proprietary cell lines.
“This is a major milestone for us and I am beyond proud and excited that we are already here. Being able to see our clean cell-based collagen with the naked eye – it brings happy tears.” -Stephanie Michelsen, CEO
Collagen is one of the most unique and abundant proteins in mammals. The triple-helical protein provides structure to cells and tissue. Collagen is widely used across industries making up a $8.4Bn market including biomedical, health, personal care & beauty, materials and food & beverage industry applications. However, the protein is only found in animals. With an increasing demand for sustainability as well as supply chain challenges, many companies are desperately looking for novel sources for collagen. This is where Jellatech sees itself as the answer.
“We’re thrilled to see that our cell-derived collagen appears bio-identical to collagen derived from animals. Because of this, we have a wide range of exciting applications from biomedicine to cosmetics to food and beverage,” commented Rob Schutte, Head of Science
Jellatech is not the only company with sustainable collagen in sight, as a few other biotech startups are also eyeing the lucrative collagen market. Cell-based collagen can have a few advantages. With fermentation and plant-based collagen, as well as other similar technologies, applications are more limited as these technologies are unable to provide the same function due to the fact they are not bio-identical to that of animal-derived collagen. This is the problem Jellatech has been able to solve through its cell-based collagen technology.
“Collagen formation is a complex process that requires specialized machinery found only in mammalian cells. We’re working to harness the innate ability of these cells to produce collagen that is bio-identical to native collagen and do it in a sustainable and animal-free way.” concluded Christopher Gilchrist, Senior Scientist