SeaWith & Esco Aster Leverage Microalgae to Accelerate Cultivated Meat Production 

Korean biotechnology startup SeaWith recently signed a new partnership to accelerate cultivated meat production with Esco Aster, the “world’s first” biomanufacturer with full regulatory approval for the commercial production of cultivated meat.

“…this milestone allows Seawith to take our first step towards globalizing the production of cultivated meat”

The proposed agreement will allow Esco Aster to assess and explore SeaWith’s proprietary, cutting-edge microalgae technologies in commercially cultivated meat projects.

Dr. Heejae Lee, CTO of SeaWith CTO, commented: “We have been in active discussions with Esco Aster, and this milestone allows Seawith to take our first step towards globalizing the production of cultivated meat. We look forward to creating synergies with world leaders such as Esco Aster.”

seawith and esco aster partnership signing
From left to right: Ms. SuenErn Lee (Lead, ESCO Aster), Mr. Yoonchan Hwang (Senior Manager, Seawith), Mr. Heejae Lee (CTO, Seawith), Mr. XiangLiang Lin (Founding CEO and President, ESCO Aster)/ Image courtesy of Esco Aster

Leveraging microalgae 

Since it was founded in 2019, SeaWith claims to have developed a technology that uses microalgae to produce scaffoldings and non-FBS growth media at low costs.

In February 2022, the Korean biotech raised ₩6.5 billion ($5.43 million) in a Series A round, with the aim of leading the cultivated meat movement in its home country with its microalgae based-technology capable of producing “thick-cut cultivated beef at $3 per kilogram.” Besides developing cultivated steaks, the startup aims to supply scaffolds and growth media for the cell ag industry.

Alt protein biomanufacturing

Esco Aster received a license to produce cultivated meat partly due to Singapore’s 30 by 30 strategy, which will involve the country producing 30% of its food by 2030. 

esco aster banner for iso certification
© Esco Aster

The Singaporean manufacturer has developed a platform called CellFarm-to-Table™, with capabilities for linearly scaling cell culture, allowing it to produce various cultivated meat products. In June 2022, Esco Aster announced it had received the ISO 22000 food safety certification for its manufacturing facility, stating it was the first company to be awarded the certification in the sector.

Among its strategies to lower cultivated meat production costs, the company actively seeks to find innovative FBS replacements. This partnership, which allows Esco Aster to use  Seawith’s microalgae low-cost scaffolds and media, marks a milestone for the company’s commercial projects. 

XiangLiang Lin, founder and CEO of Eco Aster, commented: “As the global flagbearer in complementary protein biomanufacturing, ESCO Aster welcomes the opportunity to work with global innovators with advanced technologies that could make an impact. Among the various collaborations that we have embarked with companies in North Asia, we are excited to work with Seawith to explore the use of their plant-based technologies in support of our commercial projects in cultivated meat.”

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