Cell-based breast milk for mothers and babies inches towards reality

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Credit: Spoon
Credit: Spoon

Durham, North Carolina-based women-founded startup Biomilq has successfully farmed human breast milk outside the body, the company has announced [June 1]. Within just 11 months, Biomilq now finds themselves “at the frontier of lactation science, helping to advance the entire field by putting mothers and babies at the forefront”. 

Being able to replicate human breast milk using cellular agriculture marks a significant step towards making an alternative feeding option available – one that provides the optimal nutrition that real breast milk provides, including the anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) known to play a role in promoting healthy development in babies, combined with the practical advantages of formula. 

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It’s an invaluable alternative for mothers who may not be able to breastfeed for medical reasons, or infants in exceptional circumstances like foster care, not to mention a far more sustainable and ethical solution, given the dairy industry’s firm grip on the current infant formula market, which is set to balloon to US$103 billion by 2026

Commenting on their milestone, Biomilq co-founder and chief science officer Dr. Leila Strickland said: “Our core hypothesis has always been that milk is greater than the sum of its parts, which all work together as a dynamic system.”

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Related article:  Israeli startup makes real cow’s milk and human breast milk directly from cells — no animals required
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