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Onego Bio raises €37m for precision-fermented egg proteins
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

2 April 2024

Onego Bio raises €37m for precision-fermented egg proteins

Finnish biotech company Onego Bio has successfully raised €27 million in its Series A financing round, with a further €9.5 million in non-dilutive funding. The Series A round was led by NordicNinja VC, a Japanese-Nordic venture capital firm that backs companies in climate and deep-tech. Agronomics participated in the round with a €1.55 million investment alongside existing investors Maki VC and Holdix, and new investors EIT Food and Tesi. Agronomics now holds an equity stake of 16.36% in Onego Bio on a fully diluted basis. The additional €9.5 million in non-dilutive funding came from Business Finland, a government organisation that offers grant funding for Finnish companies that address significant global needs and challenges. Onego Bio harnesses precision fermentation to manufacture Bioalbumen, a bioidentical ovalbumin (the most important protein in egg white), without the use of animals. Bioalbumen contains all essential amino acids, has the highest possible protein digestibility score PDCAAS of 1.0 and delivers 90g of protein per 100g. Tomosaku Sohara, managing partner at Nordic Ninja, commented: “Onego Bio is taking all the right steps to commercialise in record time. It is a next-generation precision fermentation company, with a clear path to industrialisation, go-to-market and profitability...With technology that is designed to scale...In less than two years, Onego is already working with major global food companies and is staged to disrupt the $330 billion egg market and create system level change, accelerating the green transition.” In 2022, Onego Bio secured a license from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to commercialise its proprietary strains of the ‘highly productive’ protein expression system Trichoderma reesei to produce egg proteins. Onego Bio will use the funding to continue scaling and optimising its production processes and productivity, finance its work with its contract manufacturing partners and prepare for US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) filing for regulatory approval in the US. Onego currently collaborates with over 25 ‘well-known’ CPG companies, integrating Bioalbumen into their innovation pipeline for a range of products, including baked goods, confectionery, snacks, sauces, pasta and meat alternatives. Onego says that it is on track to receive self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for Bioalbumen this year, with a no-objections letter expected from the FDA in 2025. As a US-Finnish company, Onego plans to first launch in North America, where the regulatory landscape allows a faster market entry, followed by expansion in Europe, South America and Asia. Jim Mellon, executive chairman of Agronomics, said: “A long-term sustainable solution for chicken eggs is needed. We have been highly impressed with Onego's capabilities and vision from the very beginning. By repurposing a well-established technology from the enzyme industry for food protein production, they are well-positioned to scale to the massive volumes needed to future-proof the supply of the world's most versatile and popular food protein."

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