Israel's Tnuva partners with Pluristem to develop cultured cell-based meat

Tnuva Chairman Haim Gavrieli: Tnuva strives to lead the alternative protein industry in Israel and to continue to expand in the industry on a global scale.

 Haim Gavrieli, Chairman of the Tnuva Group. (photo credit: RAMI ZARNGER)
Haim Gavrieli, Chairman of the Tnuva Group.
(photo credit: RAMI ZARNGER)

Pluristem Therapeutics, a leading Israeli biotechnology company, and Tnuva Group, Israel’s largest food producer, launched on Monday an innovative collaboration to develop and manufacture cultured cell-based products for the food industry.

The new company will use Pluristem’s proprietary technology and knowhow in the field of cultured meat. Tnuva will invest $7.5 million according to a valuation of $40 million, with the option to invest up to an additional $7.5 million over a period of 12 months following the closing. Tnuva will also provide the R&D platform to develop consumer products and will receive preferred marketing rights in Israel of any new products.

Pluristem has developed a proprietary 3D platform that produces high-quality cells in a cost-effective manner. The goal is to launch the first raw cultured meat product in 2023.

A statue of a cow painted in the colours of dairy firm Tnuva's logo stands outside the company's logistic centre in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi, Israel (credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)A statue of a cow painted in the colours of dairy firm Tnuva's logo stands outside the company's logistic centre in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi, Israel (credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

“Our collaboration with Pluristem is part of the execution of Tnuva Group’s strategy and vision,” said Haim Gavrieli, Chairman of Tnuva Group. “Tnuva strives to lead the alternative protein industry in Israel and to continue to expand in the industry on a global scale. We chose to collaborate with Pluristem because we believe it owns one of the most advanced cell production technologies in the world.”

Yaky Yanay, CEO & President of Pluristem, said that the company has used the last year to leverage its technology and expertise through partnerships and collaborations.

“We believe that Tnuva’s and Pluristem’s vast experience will support fast and effective development of largescale cultured meat products, relying on our existing infrastructures and talented teams. This collaboration is the first showcase of Pluristem’s intention to expand its business to verticals that need superior cell expansion proprietary technologies,” he said.

Alternative meat is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and is estimated to become a $140 billion market by 2030. Affordable cultured food will require mass-produced, high-quality cells at competitive costs.

Yaky Yanay Pluristem’s CEO (credit: HAIM MEGYORA)Yaky Yanay Pluristem’s CEO (credit: HAIM MEGYORA)

Eyal Malis, CEO of the Tnuva, said that the group has decades of experience developing and marketing innovative products for the Israeli market. “Tnuva leads the alternative protein market in Israel and has recently taken its expertise globally,” he said.

Last year, the Haifa-based Pluristem started trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The stock was approved for listing on the Nasdaq Global Market® list and is traded under the company's current symbol (PSTI).

Pluristem specializes in regenerative medicine therapies, notably cell therapies, that treat inflammation, ischemia, ulcers, muscle trauma, blood disorders and radiation poisoning. Ischemia is a condition where sufficient blood is prevented from reaching a part of the body, be it a limb or an organ. The committee said that the Phase III study is unlikely to meet its primary endpoints.