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Newcastle biotech spinout scoops £500k for protein alternative

Image credit: Christoph Burgstedt / Shutterstock

A Newcastle-based spinout developing technology to instruct protein cells to grow in a certain way for research or commercial use has scooped up £500,000 in seed funding.

MarraBio is creating alternatives to bioactive proteins that the company says can “mimic” conventional protein function.

The startup claims its protein alternative is both cheaper and has a longer shelf life than existing products. It is targeting biomedical research and therapy markets, along with the cultivated meat market.

MarraBio was incorporated in August 2022 and spun out of Newcastle University. Its technology, which it has licenced from the university, is based on 20 years of research conducted by co-founder Professor Jeremy Lakey on the Caf1 protein.

Dr Daniel Peters, chief executive of MarraBio, said: “We have always been aware of the commercial potential of the research, so it is great that we now have the resources we need to bring products to the market.”

Maven Capital Partners, Northstar Ventures, CPI Enterprises and TCS Biosciences invested in MarraBio’s seed round.

A Northstar Ventures spokesperson told UKTN that the investment firm contributed £126,000 to the seed round.

“We’re delighted to back our first local university spinout in the region. MarraBio is a pioneering business, and its technology platform is already producing a reagent with proven biological effectiveness for use in cell culture,” said Michael Dickens, investment manager at Maven.

Read more: Tech on the Tyne, a regional report