December 1, 2023

The long road to gaining regulatory approval​ for cultivated meat has led Jimi Biotech to explore new options, including its latest development — cultivated deer antler stem cells.

Although we managed to reduce the cost of serum-free media to RMB50 (USD7) per litre, achieving price parity with traditional meat will still take several years. If our product is more expensive, only few people will try it. Our long-term goal is definitely cultivated meat, but that’s the fact we have to live with for now.

“On the other hand, deer antler is a premium product that has a big market in China and other Asian countries. We now have the ability to make this valuable and popular product at a lower cost. We believe it will provide a better path for commercialisation as our very first product, and can generate steady and substantial revenue more quickly,” ​Yikai Wang, Operations Director of Jimi Biotech, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

The deer antler stem cells took more than a year to be developed, with the biggest challenge being getting to immortalisation without genetic editing.

This was overcome by JEVOS (Jimi Evolution System), the firm’s in-house automated, high-throughput and AI-driven platform that speeds up the optimisation of cells and culture media by over a hundred times.

According to Wang, the quality and price of deer antler varies in different parts of its structure.

“For example, the price of the lower parts is about RMB8,000 (USD1,116) per kg, while the top part can reach as high as six figures. Usually, it is around RMB50,000 (USD6,980) to RMB100,000 (USD13,956) per kg.


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