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Cocoon Bioscience announces closing of a €15 million funding round to scale high-value protein production

March 23, 2023

Cocoon Bioscience, the biocomponent business spun-off from the Spanish biotech company, Algenex (following the successful sale of Algenex to the pharmaceutical group Insud Pharma in September 2022) has completed a €15 million funding round to develop and scale its business.

Cocoon Bioscience’s funding round, led by Columbus Venture Partners and Cleon Capital, will also include several blue chip co-investors including the Spanish listed company Viscofan, USA-based North South Ventures, Luxembourg-based Sangha Capital, BASQUE, FCR, and other strategic partners.

Founded in 2022, Cocoon is an innovator in the field of biological manufacturing, with an initial focus on the production of two product families: specialty enzymes for cutting-edge industrial biotech processes such as mRNA synthesis and genetic sequencing; and high-performance growth factors for the alternative protein industry, an emerging global market with tremendous potential.

The funds will be deployed to build a new manufacturing facility located at Bizcaia’s Technological Park in Zamudio, Bilbao, designed to scale production of Cocoon’s commercial products to fulfil rapidly escalating demand as well as to invest in both product and process innovation and strengthen the Cocoon Bioscience team. The new facility marks an important milestone in Cocoon’s strategic vision of disrupting both the specialty enzyme and cultivated meat sector.

Cocoon Bioscience’s vision and contribution to sustainability objectives is tied to both the production process and the products, which have a strong positive impact on the environment, enabling better access to food and healthcare. Its innovative manufacturing platform, based on the use of cocoons, is more natural and significantly more cost efficient than the traditional method of manufacturing enzymes and growth factors using large bioreactors. By enabling a high-quality and more cost-competitive final product, Cocoon Bioscience indirectly supports the environmental and social impact of cultured meat, which offers the promise of reduced greenhouse gases and the water footprint and a more efficient land usage.

“The experience and support from the investors participating in this round will play a critical role as we grow Cocoon’s business over the coming months and years," said Josh Robinson, CEO of Cocoon. "Cocoon’s platform and the products manufactured have been successfully proven and pressure-tested many times over. Now, this round of funding will allow us to rapidly scale our platform to the industrial level so that we can address the exponential demand for high performance growth factor proteins for the cultivated meat industry as well as the need for cost-competitive enzymes involved in key healthcare applications such as mRNA and genetic sequencing”.

“We are very pleased with Cocoon’s launch," added Javier García, Managing Partner of Columbus Venture Partners. "The potential is immense as it marks an important milestone in Cocoon’s strategic vision of disrupting both the specialty enzyme and cultivated meat sector. It comes after years of perfecting the technology at predecessor company Algenex. It also represents another sign of our commitment to create a production innovation ecosystem in the Basque Country.”

“We are very excited to back Cocoon; the market opportunity is massive, and we can leverage a unique technology as well as a top-tier management team we have assembled, led by Joshua Robinson (Stanford PhD) and Romy Dalton (former COO of Algenex)” stated Nicola Zambon, Managing Partner of Cleon Capital.

“Cultured meat represents an exceptional opportunity to face the challenge of providing a sustainable diet to a population of more than seven billion people. To produce cultured meat is key to have growth factors that reduce costs and allow the industrialization of the process to be accessible on a large scale,” concluded Iñaki Recalde, Chief Diversification and Technology Officer at Viscofan.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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