CellX Raises $6.5M Series A+ to Build China's First Cultivated Meat Pilot Facility
June 25, 2023 - 4 min read
- This new round of funding will aid CellX's move towards pilot scale production of its cultivated meat products. To date, CellX has raised above $20M, making it China's most funded cultivated meat startup.
- CellX has completed China's first pilot production facility with capacity for multiple 2,000L bioreactors. The expected annual production capacity will reach tons. This is a major milestone to signal that CellX and the Chinese cultivated meat industry have entered the era of pilot production at scale.
- CellX has successfully completed the development of more than ten cell lines from various species, a few of which have been adapted to grow in suspension in serum free media, and the leading cell line has entered the pilot stage.
Shanghai, June 25, 2023 — Chinese leading cellular agriculture company CellX raised $6.5M in its Series A+ funding. This new round is led by multiple strategic investors, and it will aid CellX's move towards pilot scale production of its cultivated meat products. To date, CellX has raised over $20M in total, making it China's most funded cellular agriculture startup.
Founded in 2020, CellX has built R&D platforms across the four major technological pillars of cultivated meat, cell line development, media optimization, novel bioprocess design, and end product innovation. Earlier this year, CellX announced its plan to build China's first cultivated meat pilot production facility, hosting multiple thousand-liter bioreactors.
"We have successfully developed 10+ cell lines from various species, adapted 5+ of them into suspension culturing, and the leading cell line has now entered pilot stage." said Dr. Chen, Director of R&D at CellX. "Besides, we have also developed multiple serum free media and improved the yield significantly, enabling us to drastically reduce the production cost. We are currently working on scaling up to 2,000L."
It is reported that the pilot production facility is jointly built by CellX and Tofflon, a listed biotech and food equipment company. Besides hosting multiple thousand liter bioreactors, the facility will also provide an interactive space for consumers to taste CellX’s demo products. This facility will be China's first "transparent food space" for cultivated meat R&D, pilot production, and public tasting.
Mr. Ziliang Yang, cofounder and CEO of CellX, shared the company's strategic plans for the future:
"Meat is a commodity that needs to be consistently produced at a competitive cost and large scale. Each year, China alone consumes 100+ million tons of meat, more than a quarter of global meat consumption. For cultivated meat to have a meaningful impact on our global food supply chain, production at low cost and at scale is key.
Unfortunately, no company in our space has fully cracked the puzzle of production at low cost and scale, yet. This is where CellX and China can add value. Thanks to China's booming biopharma industry and fermentation sector, there is already a good ecosystem in place, including media and equipment at competitive pricing, as well as a large pool of talented bioprocess engineers. All of which enables companies to produce cultivated meat at a significantly lower cost in China."
Despite the recent trend of decoupling between China and the west, Ziliang still believes in the prospect of globalization in the field of cellular agriculture.
"At the end of the day, carbon and sustainability are global issues that humanity faces together. It's one of the few areas where there is common understanding."
Due to its significance in carbon reduction and food security, cultivated meat has been increasingly put under the spotlight in China. In early 2022, cultivated meat and "future foods" were included in China's 14th 5-Year plan by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, for the very first time. During his speech to the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, President Xi also said that China must adopt “a ‘Greater Food’ approach” to nutrition, to ensure a secure supply of all staple food groups.
"The facility is almost ready, and we are about to start the first batch of 2,000L run." Ziliang says. "We will be opening our doors for public tasting soon, and we are excited to invite you to Shanghai for a taste of the future."
CellX is a cellular agriculture company based in Shanghai, working to bring cultivated meat products to consumers around the world. Its goal is to provide a sustainable source of animal protein, better health for all human beings, and improved animal welfare. Founded in 2020, CellX has built a top R&D team of 40 and raised $20M+. The team focuses on building platform technologies with a multi-species approach. CellX is collaborating with top universities and leading companies around the world to advance the commercialization of cultivated meat. The company is also accelerating market launch and cultivated meat approval in the APAC region. More information at www.cellx.cn