Our proprietary bank of human mammary cells lays the foundation for all future work.
Our technology provides the appropriate environment for the cells to make milk components.
We are optimizing our bioprocess for scale-up and are developing a cost-effective production process.
We are resourced for success with a cutting edge research facility and a world-class team.
Human mammary cells can produce components only found in breast milk and are uniquely beneficial to the human body.
The cells, isolated from donated breast milk, come from over 70 women of
all backgrounds and lactation stages.
From the cells, we have created
multiple cell lines with extended lifespans to thrive outside the body.
Human mammary cells are uniquely capable of producing the most functional forms of breast milk components.
It all started over a decade ago when our co-founder and CEO, Dr. Leila Strickland, experienced firsthand the struggle to breastfeed her children. At the time, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford using cell culture to model other aspects of human physiology. She felt there had to be a solution to getting more of the benefits of breast milk to more babies and began experimenting with milk biosynthesis.
CEO of BIOMILQ, Dr. Leila Strickland, with her son Levi, 2009
Fast forward to 2020, BIOMILQ was founded, and a powerful team of innovators passionate about the future of early-life nutrition was formed. We are on track to launch a never-before-possible product of functional human milk components that will bring more of the benefits of breast milk to more babies.
What is BIOMILQ?BIOMILQ is a women-owned, science-led mammary biotechnology start-up working to leverage its patented technology to make functional human milk ingredients outside the body. By utilizing the unique potential of human mammary cells and cell culture technology, BIOMILQ strives to nourish healthier babies and bring more of the functional benefits of breast milk to early life nutrition products.
Did you say you’re making cell-cultured human milk? How does that work?The fundamental methods we’re using are safe and widely used. We’re culturing human mammary cells outside the body and leveraging their biological ability to produce functional human milk components that will bring more of the benefits of breast milk to early life nutrition products. Check out "Our Science" for an overview.
Why would you do that? Who needs cell-cultured human milk?Most parents intend to breastfeed, but data on breastfeeding rates reveal how unsupported we are when we face these challenges. Regardless of the unanimous clinical consensus and near universal intent of parents, only a quarter of babies receive the recommended 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. At 12 months, less than half are receiving any breastfeeding at all. This is not from a lack of trying, as the reasons why a parent may not breastfeed are extensive. Additionally, infant formula provides full nutrition for growing infants but falls short in providing many of the functionally important components that human milk is made of. In addition to full nutrition, human milk provides a plethora of crucial benefits like antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immunological development. BIOMILQ's goal is simple: bring more of the benefits of breastmilk to more babies. We can do this by adding our functional human milk components to early life nutrition products.
Are you trying to replace breastfeeding?Never! Breast milk is an extraordinary substance that has resulted from hundreds of millions of years of evolution to nourish babies, and it does not have a single recipe or formula. Breast milk changes throughout the time of day, throughout stages of lactation and the baby’s growth – it even changes during a feeding session. BIOMILQ will never be able to fully replicate it. However, the fact stands that the majority of babies are not receiving the recommended amount of the beneficial components of breastmilk, and that is not due to a lack of trying from parents. That is the problem we are addressing. By incorporating BIOMILQ’s functional human milk components into early life nutrition products, more of the developmental benefits that can only be found in breast milk will become accessible to more babies. Rather than replicating breast milk, BIOMILQ is working to shrink the gap between infant formula and breast milk.
When will this be available and how can I get it?Right now we’re focused on developing and fine-tuning production to bring functional human milk components to market as soon as our product meets the rigorous quality standards. We are working to put extensive safety and efficacy testing in place to ensure that BIOMILQ's product meets high standards for safety, quality, and nutrient density and that our production methods do not introduce any safety risks for consumers. We continue to work with our regulator, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine the steps we will need to take to ensure safety on a commercial scale. We’re determined to work closely with families, pediatricians, regulators, and the breastfeeding and lactation community to create the best product possible for babies and parents around the globe.
This sounds great! How can I support BIOMILQ’s mission and help bring cell-cultured human milk to life?They say it takes a village and we’re taking that to heart. If you’re interested in sharing your story with us, learning more, providing feedback, or joining this journey, subscribe to our monthly newsletter!
We're here for the parents who breastfeed, the parents who pump, the parents who formula feed, and everyone in between.
Photo of BIOMILQ scientist provided by CNN.