At a first glance, the Cellular Agriculture and Animal Therapies industries operate in two very disparate spheres.
Cellular Agriculture, creating cultivated meat products, focuses on larger livestock animals, such as pigs, cows, or sheep.
In contrast, Animal Therapies often do not focus on these types of animal. They are directed towards our companion animals, offering solutions for pets such as dogs with diabetes or other ailments.
How can these two sectors be brought together, through a single innovation?
The bridge between industries
One of the fantastic aspects of our work here at Roslin Technologies is the ability to apply ground-breaking technological solutions across multiple areas of interest. Our novel stem cell technology, to produce induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines, allows us to do just that.
We have created iPS cell lines for a number of different species, including pig and dog. Our lines are a unique offering; they offer the ability to generate antibiotic-free cells in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. As they are produced from an animal, they also produce high quality nutritious cultivated meat products.
Same technology, different species
Internally, the process of creating a new iPS cell line from an animal undergoes the same steps whether the end use is for a cultivated meat product or an animal therapeutic.
An iPS cell line is derived from the species of interest, then validated to ensure that it can be differentiated into a range of different cell types. While iPS cells can be differentiated into any cell in the body, not all cell types are useful; Cultivated Meat may not see a great need for bone cells, whilst Animal Therapies may not require fat cells.
iPS cell lines by their intrinsic nature are immortal lines, with no need for repeat sampling from animals. This improves animal welfare and allow for harm-free growth. For both the Cultivated Meat and Animal Therapies market, it also ensures that the quality of the cell lines does not need to be repeatedly assessed and evaluated. This allows new therapies to be created using these cells, without the need for repeated assessment and evaluation by regulatory authorities.
The Cultivated Meat industry is one that growing quickly in both size and importance – the availability of durable and reliable cell lines will only assist the sector in its expansion. Will this be the same for cellular therapies in the wider Animal Therapies market?
As iPS cell lines embed into the market and offer new ways for end user products to be created, time will tell in how ground-breaking an achievement they are.