By Jason Holland, Contributing Editor reporting from London
Published on Wednesday, January 13, 2016
California-based biotech company Calysta Inc. has announced plans to open its first research and development (R&D) and market introduction facility in the United Kingdom and its intention to court the country’s fast growing salmon farming industry.
Located at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), Teesside, Calysta’s new site will develop the production process for its FeedKind protein, a new, non-GMO fish feed ingredient aimed at reducing the aquaculture industry’s use of fishmeal.
Approved for sale in the EU, FeedKind is manufactured using a natural process similar to the production of yeast-extract sandwich spreads.
In a statement, Calysta said studies have confirmed the nutritional value of the feed, based on criteria such as growth performance and animal health.
Calysta is marketing FeedKind Aqua to the global salmon farming industry, saying it provides the aquaculture industry “with the opportunity to further improve its sustainability profile” as it grows to meet increasing global demand for fish protein.
“In the U.K. alone, the salmon farming industry is expected to grow by 50 percent by 2020,” said the statement.
Through its subsidiary Calysta (UK) Ltd., the company has received a conditional award of up to GBP 2.8 million (EUR 3.7 million; USD 4.1 million) Exceptional Regional Growth Fund (eRGF) grant subject to due diligence from the U.K. Government. This will contribute to a GBP 30 million (EUR 40.1 million; USD 43.4 million) first phase investment, over 10 years, to develop a market introduction facility to undertake R&D critical to commercialize FeedKind and develop the technology for other applications.
Calysta plans to locate a loop reactor adjacent to CPI’s existing National Industrial Biotechnology Facility that will incorporate its gas fermentation technology. CPI staff will then gain experience in operating the facility under Calysta’s supervision.
“The eRGF grant is a major vote of confidence for us from the U.K. Government. After looking at potential sites around Europe, we look forward to building Calysta's first plant in Teesside,” said Alan Shaw Ph.D., Calysta president and CEO. “Teesside remains an important center for the process industry.
“We are keen to capitalize on the area’s commercial attractiveness, technical skills and research and development expertise. Our plant will not only provide a boost for the economy of Northeast England, but will also support the U.K.’s goal to become a world leader in the emerging industrial biotechnology sector by generating game changing technology in gas fermentation and synergistic applications.”
Calysta has two business units: Calysta Nutrition develops and commercializes fish and livestock nutritional products, while Calysta Energy develops high value industrial chemical products.