BioRaptor and Aleph Farms use AI to lower the costs of cultivated beef

Aleph Farms and BioRaptor have teamed up to use AI to improve the tech and lower the costs for creating cultivated beef.

The goal is to use AI to accelerate efficiency in cultivated meat production (also known as cultured meat), which is a form of cellular agriculture where meat is produced by cultivating animal cells in the lab.

Integrating BioRaptor’s unique AI operating system into Aleph Farms’ process development will underscore further scalability and cost reductions in the production of Aleph Cuts as the company prepares for its large-scale plants.

BioRaptor and Aleph Farms will present their innovations in respective panels about cellular agriculture and AI at the SynBioBeta conference in San Jose, California on May 6 to May 9.

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“We can’t wait another 10,000 years for each one of these treatments, or new proteins, to evolve. And that’s where BioReactor comes in. We allow these companies to shorten their time to market to work much more efficiently by taking a combined approach, collecting all the different data. And using that generate insights, to bring that technology to market in a much higher quality and shorter time at a lower cost,” said Ori Zakin, CEO of BioRaptor, in an interview with VentureBeat.

Aleph Farms is a cellular agriculture leader which has been the first and only so far to receive regulatory approval for cultivated beef. BioRaptor, pioneers in streamlining and optimizing biotech processes through data and AI.

“Our system allows them to iterate faster. We have machine learning and AI that takes that data and both enriches that and gives the companies a much more efficient way to plan their new experiments,” Zakin said. “The process they’re doing is design, build, measure, learn. We’re just supercharging that learning cycle to feed the learning back into the next design phase.”

BioRaptor’s cofounders.

This partnership will analyze the data generated throughout the process development of cultivated meat, and complement human intelligence in its optimization process.

Cultivated meat originates from animal cell cultures and is grown in cultivators that provide controlled, clean, and closed environments where cells can thrive. These cultivators continuously feed the cells with nutrients and are monitored for various process parameters such as pH, dissolved oxygen and temperature. Understanding the relationship between the cell feed and the cell environment is key to defining the most optimal conditions for cell growth.

“There are massive amounts of data created during the development of state-of-the-art production bioprocesses, which, when extracted, interpreted, and collected into actionable insights, can boost productivity and reduce costs, time, and human error. This is exactly our plan with Aleph Farms. By simplifying bioprocess data management and suggesting optimal experimental design, BioRaptor could enable smoother technological developments, like the ones that the cellular agriculture industry has been pioneering,” said Zakin.

Aleph Cuts is artificial meat.

Zakin has worked in tech for a long time, starting in cybersecurity and moving on to medical informatics. He worked in fields where the data is kind of messy. Most of the test results are scanned documents, faxes and other unstructured data.

“We’re trying to get biologists who don’t have a degree in software engineering, or aren’t data scientists, and empower them to have the best access and best tools available. To give them direct access to their data. And so we started with the bio processing area,” Zakin said. “It’s a very interesting field with groundbreaking work.”

There is research on engineered yeast and bacteria, and therapeutics like cancer treatments.

“The commonality between all these different fields is the infrastructure, which came from pharmaceuticals to the industrial side, and it’s going back,” Zakin said.

The integration of BioRaptor’s solution into the process development of Aleph Farms allows the R&D team to collect data as it is generated across multiple experiments, extrapolating both real-time and historic data concurrently.

It allows cross-experimental findings to be smoothly evaluated and for the results to be all configured on one single platform. The ability to review both data in the past and present, and make projections for future enhancements of experiments, leads to greater efficiency and reduced costs in the process scale-up.

The BioRaptor team
The BioRaptor team

“Our team’s scientific expertise in design of experiment (DoE) methodology and statistical analysis, complemented by BioRaptor’s AI-driven solution, will allow us to better understand the interactions between various process inputs and conditions. With the large data we generate, this capability could accelerate the development of robust and scalable processes for cultivated meat,“ said Sagit Shalel-Levanon, senior director of process development at Aleph Farms, in a statement.

“Deploying BioRaptor’s most advanced AI and machine learning solution into our R&D will provide additional support for our team to optimize processes for cost and scalability, laying a solid groundwork for our mid- to large-scale production. Our approach is to build the right foundations as we grow and avoid massive capital expenditure before our process is fully ready for scale,” said Neta Lavon, CTO of Aleph Farms, in a statement. “We are investing time and resources to implement the most advanced tools into our differentiated technology platform and its various applications in the food industry and beyond, thereby realizing the full potential of cellular agriculture in the burgeoning bioeconomy.”

Aleph Farms is focused on cultivating artificial beef from cow cells. Headquartered in Israel, Aleph grows cultivated beef steaks, offering unique culinary experiences while enhancing sustainability, food security and animal welfare.

In December 2023, the company received regulatory approval from Israel’s Ministry of Health for its cultivated Petit Steak, grown from non-modified cells of premium Black Angus cows. Aleph Farms markets the steak under its product brand, Aleph Cuts.

Established in 2017, Aleph Farms plays a pivotal role in the bioeconomy by diversifying the supply and decentralizing the production of quality animal proteins and fats as a complement to sustainable methods of conventional animal agriculture. The company unveiled the world’s first cultivated thin-cut beef steak in 2018, the world’s first cultivated ribeye steak in 2021, and cultivated collagen in 2022.

For its contributions to climate leadership, including a net zero commitment made in 2020, Aleph Farms has received top accolades from the World Economic Forum and the United Nations. It is backed by top corporate partners and financial institutions, as well as state-backed sovereign funds in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

“We see cross pollination between the farmer and the industrial side,” Zakin said. “You’re seeing an interchangeability.”

BioRaptor’s AI-driven software platform empowers biopharma, biotech, and food-tech firms to accelerate R&D and production. Leveraging a company’s historic and real-time data, BioRaptor provides predictive analysis and actionable insights, helping scientists discover, develop, and scale the processes that put foods and pharma products onto the shelves and into the hands of people who need them. Founded in 2021, BioRaptor’s experienced multidisciplinary team consists of leaders in the fields of pharma, medicine, biology, data engineering, and cybersecurity.

BioRaptor has about 10 people, each with a lot of experience across multiple disciplines. They have done work that helps bridge engineering and biology, where the analysis of a lot of data is critical. Zakin said that the tech used in analyzing biology is antiquated, with the most common software used being Excel.

“We’re trying to build an operating system for biology, as a new way to do biology,” he said. “It’s an amazing industry. The bottom line is, biologists deserve better infrastructure.”

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