How does EntoEngine Work?
We take the gene for a particular growth factor and insert it into the genome of the insect Drosophila melanogaster (D.mel). It’s inserted at the embryo stage so it doesn’t hurt the insect in any way. This causes the insect to secrete the growth factor of interest from its cells - in essence, its entire body acts as a standalone biofactory. We then continue breeding the particular strain of insect to build up the volume of available growth factor. The insertion does not need to be repeated. Growth factor secretion and strain maintenance can occur in perpetuity, meaning ongoing access to any growth factor once it is established. You can think of this like a bank - capable of supplying any growth factor on demand. Near the end of their lifespan, we humanely harvest the insects and purify the resulting growth factors.
How does EntoEngine Compare to Existing expression systems?
Part of the beauty of EntoEngine is its inherent ability to completely circumvent bottlenecks experienced by other expression systems. Insects are the most successful organism on the planet. They dominate in number, biomass, and diversity, and shape the biological foundation for all terrestrial ecosystems. Future Field’s D.mel bioreactor approach clears the way for cellular meat and other agricultural products thanks to the significant advantages it has over other production methods including:
- Safety - D.mel are benign, highly studied and have a century’s long safety record for use in routine human research with no adverse effects on human health or the environment. The non-pathogenic nature of the EntoEngine platform is a significant safety advantage over expression systems with inherent risk factors to human health like E.coli.
- Mass-Market Cost & Scale - Because insects eat a basic organic diet instead of expensive growth media and are reared in simple cages, EntoEngine’s production costs scale efficiently with minimal use of space.
- Species Specificity - The sophisticated genetic toolset available to work with D.mel allows for species specificity and protein complexity. Cells for human milk or any animal products from any species - cow, pig, chicken, etc. - can be cultured with growth factors specific to that species, increasing efficacy and easing regulatory burden.
- Quality - Insect cells possess the necessary machinery to facilitate complex protein production and therefore do not compromise on quality as E.coli, plant, or yeast systems do.
What is EntoEngine ™
EntoEngine is a state-of-the-art insect-based expression platform. Eons of evolutionary selection and genetic tinkering have led to the most efficient and elegant molecular machinery. We know we can’t outperform nature. Instead, we embrace it at the core of our technology. We harness the natural strengths of the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster (D.mel), and over a century’s worth of nobel-prize winning research, to express recombinant proteins in these mini biofactories. The result is an expression platform that marries the needs of scientific complexity, mass market scalability, and environmental stewardship.
How sustainable is EntoEngine for Cellular Agriculture
EntoEngine is the first expression system capable of fulfilling the environmental mandates of cellular agriculture. Choosing EntoEngine means, for the first time, we can extend the values of your company into your supply chain. With EntoEngine, we can truly bend the curve on climate change. Some of the major benefits of using insect biofactories instead of industrial bioreactors include:
- Net zero emission potential
- Reduced water and land requirements
- No hazardous waste
- No energy intensive sterilization or wasteful single use bioreactors
How cost effective is EntoEngine for Cellular Agriculture?
Coupled to the advantages mentioned so far, the EntoEngine benefits from significantly reduced production costs in comparison with other expression methods. Insects are very efficient at converting food into body mass and are incredibly inexpensive to rear. They get the water they need from their food, and they can even be farmed close to production facilities reducing the need for high transportation costs. Capital expenditures like bioreactors, growth media to support cellular expression systems, and costly antibiotics are all avoided with the EntoEngine. Because of this we can pass on the savings to our customers.