Merck Spends $9 Million to Build Meat-Growing Lab

Merck’s venture capital arm invests $8.8M in Mosa Meat | Due in stores later this year

(Cathy Siegner, Food Dive) Mosa Meat, a lab-grown meat company based in the Netherlands, has completed an $8.8-million funding round led by Merck’s venture capital arm, M Ventures, and Swiss meat processor Bell Food Group.

According to The Wall Street Journal, it is Merck’s first investment in the food industry.

M Ventures told the newspaper it’s possible that parent company Merck may provide Mosa Meat with the growth medium in which the meat cells are grown and also share its cell culture technology expertise with the startup.

Mark Post, Mosa Meat’s co-founder and chief scientific officer, told the Journal that the company is scoping out locations for a pilot production facility and plans to have its beef products in European restaurants for about $10 per burger by 2021.

Dive Insight:

The lab-grown meat space just got a big boost from Big Pharma, potentially speeding up adoption of the new products as companies work to bring them to market.

The earliest any company plans to introduce so-called “clean meat” items is the end of 2018.

Germany-based Merck makes cell culture media, so having business interests in the process of producing lab-grown meat is not a stretch.

The company could gain Mosa Meat both as a customer and a beneficiary of its cell culture technology, plus the financial stake gives Merck an insider’s role in the trendy segment of lab-grown meat.

Should this investment in Mosa Meat work out, Merck could make other investments in the rapidly growing lab-grown meat business … Read the full story at Food Dive.