Orbillion Bio Patricia Bubner on Forbes as One of the Ten Women Founders Changing Synthetic Biology
April 10, 2023, repost from the reporting by John Cumbers at Forbes Business and Jill Ettinger at Green Queen. - Synthetic Biology is one of the most exciting technologies of the decade that promises to reimagine entire industries and solve the economic, societal, and environmental problems of the twenty-first century. The recent signing of the Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation, followed by last week’s report outlining “bold goals” for the U.S. bioeconomy, is putting wind in the sails of the synthetic biology industry. With the government setting an ambitious course toward our bio-future, we need equally bold and creative innovators to bring that vision to reality.
The good news is – our future is in great hands. These incredible founders – who happen to be women – are harnessing the power of biology to transform everything from health to human and animal nutrition, crop treatments, bioremediation, mining, and even haircare. Many of them will be speaking at the SynBioBeta conference on May 23-25 in Oakland, CA, where the future of synthetic biology is imagined and drafted into existence.
Orbillion Bio co-founder and CEO Patricia Bubner is one of the ten women founders at the helm of some of the most innovative synthetic biology companies out there. Patricia’s goal is to create a future of food that is ethical, sustainable – and delicious. At Obrillion Bio, that vision is being realized by crafting premium cell-cultured meat that originates from top-quality breeds. Its founder and CEO Patricia Bubner, a Y Combinator graduate, is pushing the goal forward with a proprietary platform technology that is rapidly decreasing the cost of cultivated meat – not forgetting about the flavor in the process. Orbillion already has four different flavorful meats growing in the lab: wagyu beef, elk, sheep, and American bison, all sourced from the highest quality heritage animals.
In position for mass production
Known for its premium cultivated Wagyu beef, California-based Orbillion Bio announced new partnership with Solar Biotech in Dec. 2022, which will see it scale up to 20,000L bioreactors — enough to produce more than four million pounds of cultivated meat per year. The announcement follows the recent FDA GRAS status for Upside Foods’ cultivated chicken, moving the cultivated meat industry closer to U.S. regulatory approval. The partnership is the first of its kind for Solar Biotech, marking its official entry into the cultivated beef industry, following its launch into animal-free chicken and work with Motif Foodworks on a yeast-derived heme protein.
“At Solar Biotech, we develop world-class bioprocessing technology together with leading players in biotech. We now want to bring our knowledge and decades of experience into creating real impact in the sustainable food tech space, and there is no better partner than the Orbillion Bio team. We see our technical synergy with Orbillion as an opportunity to enter a rapidly growing higher value cellular agriculture segment, which will yield long-term significant recurrent revenue for both parties with attractive profit margins” Alex Berlin, CEO and CTO of Solar Biotech, said in a statement. “They bring significant expertise in world-class bioprocessing and food, and we are looking forward to investing in this partnership to bring cost-effective and nutritious foods to market.”
The partnership marries Orbillion’s proprietary cell culture platform with Solar Biotech’s scale-up bioprocess development capabilities and infrastructure, proprietary AI-driven bioprocess controlling software, new biosensing technologies, and vertically integrated engineering, and previous experience commercializing mammalian cell cultures for animal-free meat, the companies said in a statement.
Quality, parity, and sustainability
“Orbillion’s innovative business model will bring to market the highest quality cultivated beef, while being cost competitive,” Patricia Bubner, CEO of Orbillion, said in a statement. “Our unique technology has already allowed us to produce meat that comes from non-GMO cells and that is free of fetal bovine serum (FBS), and by partnering with Solar Biotech we can move more swiftly to reach price parity.”
The new partnership will see Orbillion produce its meat at lower costs — part of its commitment to achieving price parity with conventional meat by 2026, and commodity pricing for beef by 2030.
It will also help tackle the food industry’s emissions. Orbillion says if produced using renewable energy, cultivated meat could reduce global warming impacts by between 85 and 92 percent versus conventional beef. Lab-grown meat also reduces the amount of land needed to produce protein, and requires fewer resources including fresh water.
As the cultivated protein sector positions itself for widespread regulatory approval, Orbillion hope it is setting itself apart with a focus on premium meats. In addition to its Wagyu beef, it’s also developing elk and lamb meat. A recent partnership with Luiten Foods will bring its range of cultivated meats to Europe by 2025, pending regulatory approval.
The other pioneering women founders taking the synthetic biology world by storm include: Christina Smolke, Co-Founder of Antheia Bio; Ezhil Subbian, Co-Founder & CEO of String Bio; Tara Karimi, Co-Founder & CTO of Cemvita Factory; Andee Wallace, Co-Founder & CEO of Robigo; Sarah Richardson, Co-founder and CEO of MicroByre; Shannon Hall, Founder of Pow.bio; Reshma Shetty, Co-Founder of Ginkgo Bioworks; Britta Cox, Co-Founder of K18 Hair; Ellen Jorgensen, Founder of Aanika Biosciences.
With so many creative ideas and ways to use biology to create new sustainable products, extract value from waste, protect our crops, secure supply chains, and improve our health – is there anything biology cannot do? The sheer innovative force behind synthetic biology companies is enough to dismantle the old and bring in a new paradigm.