REHOVOT, ISRAEL – Aleph Farms, a cultivated meat producer, announced an expansion of the company’s product line that will include cell-cultured collagen. The addition of a platform for cell-cultured collagen aligns with Aleph Farms’ goal of developing a complete alternative to farmed animals.

Collagen is a protein found in connective tissue, bone, cartilage and skin. It is used in a variety of industries and as a nutrition supplement. Cell-cultured collagen is the first product developed by Aleph Frontiers, a division of Aleph Farms’ research center. The company’s collagen is moving to full product development after 18 months of research. The company expects to launch a final product in 2024.

“The cellular agriculture industry has made greater promises to replace a large part of intensive animal farming practices, which make up to 70% of the global meat production,” explained Didier Toubia, co-founder and chief executive officer of Aleph Farms. “Cultivated meat, however, is only part of that solution as meat represents just 30-35% of the cow that is slaughtered. The rest include many other valuable by-products.

“To achieve our vision, we need to provide alternatives to the other animal parts as well, including collagen-based products,” Toubia said. “Focusing on single categories of animal products does not account for the complexity of the animal agriculture ecosystem. The protein transition should rely on a systems-based approach to successfully contribute to a comprehensive, just and inclusive transition for animal agriculture.”

The company’s new cultured-beef steaks largely share similar inputs and equipment with its cell-cultured collagen.

“We are leveraging key components from our production method for steaks — including our bovine cell sources and animal component-free growth medium — to produce several nature-identical collagen types directly from cow cells, as well as the entire extracellular matrix (ECM) which comprises a variety of fiber-forming proteins and represents the complete matrix of skin, bones and joints,” said Neta Lavon, PhD, chief technology officer and vice president of R&D at Aleph Farms. “Collagen is the most abundant protein in the ECM and is well recognized for its benefits.”