What is BIOMILQ?

We’re an early-stage startup founded by Leila Strickland and Michelle Egger proudly based in Durham, North Carolina. As a new mom, pumping alone in a closet, the idea for cultured breastmilk came to Leila; there had to be a better way to supplement breastfeeding! Fast forward a few years, Leila met Michelle, a food scientist focused on infant nutrition - and BIOMILQ was born. We’re on a mission to provide the next generation every opportunity to thrive by producing cultured breastmilk that offers supplemental nutrition to mother’s milk with the convenience of formula.

Wait a second. Did you say you’re making cultured breastmilk? How does that work?

The fundamental methods we’re using are safe and widely used. We’re culturing mammary cells outside the body and leveraging their natural ability to produce all 2500+ components of breastmilk. We recently produced human casein and lactose and we believe that we can fully replicate the nutritional profile of breastmilk. As a team of women, scientists, and parents, we are over-the-moon at the enormous potential this proves—the potential to use technology to advance infant nutrition. Check out " Our Science" for the 4-1-0.

Why would you do that? Who needs cultured breastmilk?

The evidence is clear: Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure healthy development in children. But exclusive breastfeeding is unrealistic for some and impossible for many—in fact, 84% of moms transition to dairy-based infant formula before the recommended six month exclusivity period. Whether it’s low milk production, medical reasons, incompatible workplaces, or the ongoing stigma around breastfeeding in public, families feed infant formula out of necessity rather than preference. Parents and caregivers are left with suboptimal choices, which is why we’re developing an option that doesn’t force a trade-off between babies’ nutrition and mothers’ wellbeing.

Are you trying to replace breastfeeding?

Absolutely not. As a team that includes mothers and parents, we believe strongly that there is no one right way to care for a child, and every family must make decisions that are best for them. Breastfeeding can be a profound experience (we love that!) AND breastfeeding can be profoundly challenging (we. feel. you.); we believe both of these can be true at the same time. Studies show and formula companies openly share that infant formula falls short of providing the full constellation of proteins and sugars that make human breastmilk so extraordinary. We’re harnessing the power of science, technology, and nature to deliver a more comprehensive and sustainable infant nutrition option.

When will this be available and how can I get it?

Right now we’re focused on developing and fine-tuning production with the goal of bringing cultured breastmilk to market as soon as we’re fully satisfied our product meets rigorous quality standards. 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. If you’re interested in pioneering this journey with us, want to talk about the possibilities of banking mammary cells, share your story, or anything else that’s on your mind, drop us a line below, fill out our survey, or connect via Facebook. We’d love to hear from you.

This sounds great! How can I support BIOMILQ’s mission and help bring cultured supplemental breastmilk 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 (we want to hear from you!), learning more, providing feedback, or joining this journey, drop us a line below or reach us on Facebook or Twitter!