Ayana Bio, the plant cell technology company, opened a new lab in Boston’s Seaport District. The new laboratory space supports the expansion of plant cell-cultivated ingredients into the dietary supplement, food & beverage, and sports nutrition markets.
The lab is in the same building as Ayana Bio’s strategic partner, Ginkgo Bioworks, increasing synergy with Ginkgo’s biological technology and resources. This facility solidifies Ayana Bio’s commitment to transforming the future of sustainable ingredients in one of the world’s most innovative scientific research and development hubs.
Ayana Bio’s plant cell technology is a means to create plant materials without growing plants in the ground. It harnesses the power of high throughput multi-omics technologies to select from superior production cell lines. Plant cell cultivation creates full spectrum botanical bioactives devoid of toxic soil contaminants and has the potential to overcome critical supply chain issues impacting certain agriculture-derived ingredients. This process yields ingredients with molecular compositions and equivalent health and wellness benefits as their source plant counterparts, while also allowing for tailored or higher concentrations of bioactives.
The technology housed in the new lab will make plant cell-cultivated ingredients scalable through its proprietary hardware and production process that can accommodate a variety of cell lines simultaneously. Unlike previous plant cell cultivation processes, Ayana Bio can use the same workflow to manufacture all plant materials, allowing for a large volume of many different high-value products while keeping costs low. The current plant powder market is projected to produce $20.8 billion in revenue in 2023.
“Ayana Bio’s new lab integrates indoor plant cultivation systems, cell biology, process and ingredient development to streamline an efficient workflow from plant cells to final products,” explains Effendi Leonard, cofounder and chief technology officer of Ayana Bio. “Our partnership with Ginkgo is complementary and empowers us to identify optimal starting points to scale diverse plant cells, ultimately generating superior and cost-effective ingredients.”
Inside the lab, Ayana Bio’s skilled plant cell scientists are progressing a pipeline of high-value botanicals. Notably, their $3 million initiative focuses on accelerating the sustainable production of cacao bioactives while simultaneously supporting genetic research to improve cacao plant varieties. The lab opening closely follows Ayana Bio’s recent launch of its first plant cell-derived echinacea and lemon balm health and wellness ingredients.
“As Ayana Bio makes leaps in our commercialization capabilities, this new lab stands as a testament to our unwavering dedication to providing the most essential plant bioactives for nutrition-rich formulations,” says Frank Jaksch, CEO of Ayana Bio. “It’s been rewarding to already open our doors to interested partners and showcase the transformative capabilities we employ to cultivate and scale plant materials, liberating ourselves from the constraints of agriculture.”