Aleph Farms, reportedly the first company to grow cultivated steaks directly from non-modified cow cells, announced that it has acquired a manufacturing facility in Modi’in, Israel and certain related assets from biotechnology company VBL Therapeutics. In addition, Aleph Farms has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ESCO Aster, a vertically integrated contract manufacturing organization, to produce cultivated meat in Singapore. These agreements stand to increase Aleph Farms’ production capabilities and global impact as the company approaches commercialization.

“Israel and Singapore are the first two markets where we intend to launch our cultivated thin-cut steak. Building up production capacity quickly in those locations while keeping capital investment lean provides a clear roadmap to scalability,” says Didier Toubia, CEO and co-founder of Aleph Farms. “Beyond Israel and Singapore, we plan on building additional strategic assets worldwide as part of our effort to bring more security and resilience to food systems.” 

Existing assets from VBL will be paired with technology from Aleph Farms' pilot production facility in Rehovot, Israel to increase local output in response to rising demand for quality protein.

“Our state-of-the-art facility will enable Aleph Farms to unlock value and ramp up local production in an efficient manner,” adds Dror Harats, MD, chief executive officer of VBL. “We look forward to seeing the facility support Aleph Farms’ goals in the future.”

ESCO Aster is said to be the world’s first and only company with full regulatory approval from a government authority (Singapore Food Agency), and with ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 certifications, to produce cultivated meat for commercial sales and consumption at the highest safety standards. 

This MOU covers the use of ESCO Aster's manufacturing capabilities in producing Aleph Farms’ cultivated meat in Singapore, helping the nation work toward its goal of “30 by 30”—the establishment of agri-food capabilities that can satisfy 30% of the island’s nutritional needs locally and sustainably by 2030. Such terms also position Singapore as a focal point for Aleph Farms’ future expansion in Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. 

“We are proud to be working with Aleph Farms to bring its cultivated steak to Singapore," says Xiangliang (XL) Lin, CEO of ESCO Aster and deputy CEO of ESCO Lifesciences Group. "As part of our contract manufacturing MOU, we will work together with religious authorities on obtaining a halal certificate for our facility, enabling our collaboration with Aleph to expand to even more of the broader region."

Aleph Farms says it is working closely with regulatory agencies around the world as it prepares for the commercial launch of its first product, a cultivated thin-cut steak. The company also plans to produce different cuts of steak as well as other products based on animal cells, such as cultivated collagen, through additional proprietary capabilities. From a single fertilized egg, Aleph Farms says it can grow thousands of tons of cultivated meat as part of a transition to sustainable and secure food systems.