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After patent win, Wilk on track to produce animal-free cultured milk and breast milk

12 5 1
18.04.2022

Israeli cultured milk company Wilk (formerly Biomilk) recently nabbed a US patent for its proprietary methods and technologies to produce animal-free cultured milk and cell-based human milk, placing the company firmly on track to scale its development and enter a dairy market that was valued at over $800 billion in 2020, and an infant formula industry that is expected to reach over $100 billion by 2026.

The exclusive patent, awarded in February by the US Patent and Trademark Office, protects the company’s intellectual property and covers the methods and systems Wilk developed for the cultivation and separation of milk components from cultured cells, as the company now turns its focus on processes that increase production volume, said Wilk CEO Tomer Aizen.

For the animal-derived cultured milk, Wilk uses mammal cells “that are then grown and cultivated” in bioreactors, combined with a “secret sauce,” Aizen told The Times of Israel in a videoconference interview in February, referring to processes based on a decade of proprietary research by Dr. Nurit Argov-Argaman and Maggie Levy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Argov-Argaman and Levy co-founded Wilk (as Biomilk) in 2018 and went public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange last year in a SPAC (special-purpose acquisition company) merger deal.

Wilk’s processes are also applied to the lab production of human breast milk — complete with the fats and proteins that make up important parts of the nutritional value — using cells from breast reduction surgeries, Aizen explained.

Included in the patent was the secretion process Wilk developed so that the cells behave “like in mammals,” he said, adding that the company was “now focusing on a system that creates volume.”

Wilk’s vision is to........

© The Times of Israel


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