Under a two-year sponsored research and license agreement with Tufts, Wanda Fish is granted exclusive rights to certain intellectual properties in fish cell culture developed by Tufts researcher and industry leader. cellular agriculture, David Kaplan.
Together, the partnership will advance Wanda Fish’s goal of bringing its cultured seafood to the mass market and reducing pressure on the ocean and fish populations.
“More than three billion people depend on the ocean and its surroundings to live”, highlights Dr. Daphna Heffetz, CEO of Wanda Fish. “Marine biodiversity is essential to the survival of people and our planet. Overfishing, along with water pollution, is damaging the vast and vital ocean ecosystem. Many wild fish populations are sadly in decline.”
Wanda Fish was created last year with financial and technical support from the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) and in collaboration with The Kitchen FoodTech Hub. The startup secured $3 million in pre-seed funding led by The Strauss Group, The Kitchen FoodTech Hub and received investments from Peregrine Ventures, Pico Partners, CPT Capital and MOREVC.
With R&D facilities in the United States and Israel, Wanda Fish said it has a proprietary non-GMO platform for the production of cell-based finless fish fillets from different species.
“We start with a single, unique sample of real native fish muscle and fat tissue. We then continue to replicate the fish’s biological growth, with nutritional attributes including protein and omega 3 content, as well as flavor and textural properties,” explains Kaplan.
“The results are clean, safe fish free of microplastics, mercury, or other chemical toxicities commonly found in some wild catches.”
“Our platform includes animal-free culture medium, expertise in native muscle and fat tissue production, and specially customized bioreactors that will give us the ability to scale up production and eventually bring our fish products farmed at cost parity with their conventionally fished counterparts,” adds Heffetz.
According to Heffetz, the team has made some progress in developing its first fish fillet prototype and the company will eventually be able to produce a variety of fish species using its technology.