Revolutionizing early-life nutrition
BIOMILQ is focused on developing technology that utilizes the unique potential of human mammary cells to produce functional human milk components outside of the body. We are R&D-stage, science-led, and diligently working to bring more of the benefits of breast milk to more babies.
How mammary biotechnology works
Mammary cells are isolated from breast milk donated by women passionate about BIOMILQ's mission.
The mammary cells are fed culture media, a mixture that provides nutrients to the cells, similar to a mother's bloodstream. The cells grow and multiply.
Once there are enough mammary cells, they are placed in a bioreactor, a high-density, 3D microenvironment that allows for rapid cell growth and secretion.
The mammary cells secrete human milk components.
The human milk components are removed from the bioreactor and analyzed by the BIOMILQ team!
The production of milk within the mammary
gland is an elegantly orchestrated process that
converts food from the mother’s environment
into food for her young. Despite the dramatic
differences in scale and the high level of
compositional variability of milks across
mammalian species, the physiology that underlies
the process of milk production is remarkably consistent.
During pregnancy, milk-making cells (called mammary epithelial cells) multiply in number dramatically in preparation for lactation. When the baby is born, shifts in the mother's blood chemistry trigger
the onset of milk production—we're in awe!
We are currently developing our technology, working diligently to bring this product to life—ensuring tip top safety is our top priority when nourishing tiny humans.
A note from our co-founder and CEO
Leila Strickland, PhD
"The molecular mechanics used by all animal cells to control
physical behaviors in space and time are fundamental at an
evolutionary level and highly conserved across species. As a
Ph.D. student, I researched sea urchin eggs as a model system to
learn about how the events of cell division are spatially and
temporally coordinated. The eggs of sea urchins are large,
spherical, and optically transparent, so with the right microscope,
you can watch the machinery of cell division assemble and divide
the cell in two—so beautiful!
Milk biosynthesis is a secretory process that, similarly to cell division, requires spatial orientation of the cell and coordination of multiple structures to ensure that components are delivered to the appropriate location at the appropriate time, and our process leverages these fundamental aspects of cell biology.
While feeding my son at the end of my post-doc it was clear that there was world-changing potential in harnessing my scientific understanding of cells and the evolutionary powerhouses of the human body—mammary cells—to make milk for millions of mothers in need!"