Ayana Bio, the plant cell technology company dedicated to creating sustainable bioactives for consumer products, today announced a seven-figure joint development agreement with Wooree Green Science, a subsidiary of Wooree Bio, to develop plant cell-derived saffron and other important bioactive ingredients for health and wellness products for distribution in the South Korean market.

The partnership will increase the accessibility and affordability of underdeveloped beneficial botanical ingredients like saffron. Saffron is proven to aid in weight loss by suppressing appetite and increasing metabolism, but climate change-driven crop failures are exacerbating an already constrained supply chain from the plant’s labor-intensive harvesting needs. It can take up to 170,000 flowers to produce just one kilo of saffron, making it a prohibitively expensive ingredient for supplements. This joint development agreement will address these issues by sustainably producing saffron bioactives using plant cell cultivation, a cost-efficient, alternative production method that bypasses the constraints of agricultural supply chains.

“Saffron, like many other botanicals, faces a complex and uncertain future as it grapples with shifting weather patterns, pollution and water shortages in the limited number of countries where traditional production happens,” says Frank Jaksch, CEO of Ayana Bio. “We want to reinvigorate the natural plant-based weight loss supplement market so more people can reap the health benefits. Joining forces with Wooree Green Science will help Ayana Bio deliver on the promise of saffron’s clinical evidence by making the ingredient more affordable with plant cell cultivation.”

Saffron and the other ingredients under this agreement will join Ayana Bio’s Plant Cell Advantage™ ingredient portfolio. Plant cell cultivation is a means to create plant materials without growing plants in the ground. By growing real plant cells in stainless steel tanks, this process delivers the health benefits of plant bioactives without the quality issues that come from the constraints of conventional agriculture, including climate change. Ayana Bio’s plant cell cultivation technology produces the full spectrum of bioactives found in nature – or with an even higher potency of beneficial bioactives. Plant Cell Advantage™ ingredients are DNA-fingerprint certified and 100% clean label, with standardized phytocomplex, increased bioavailability, full traceability and a neutral taste and color.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Ayana Bio to utilize its plant cell cultivation technology for the production of new plant cell ingredients for a multitude of applications across food and beverages, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals,” said Um Tae Wook, CEO of Wooree Green Science. “We look forward to commercializing these high-value sustainable ingredients through this partnership.”

Wooree Green Science uses biotechnology to address sustainability needs in the agriculture industry. The company is focused on the development and commercialization of functional ingredients for food and pharmaceutical products.

Ayana Bio’s Plant Cell Advantage™ ingredient portfolio is currently composed of Dog Rose PCA™, Hedge Nettle PCA™, Sage PCA™, Echinacea-p PCA™ and Lemon Balm PCA™. If you are interested in formulating your products with Plant Cell Advantage™ ingredients, contact Ayana Bio at www.ayanabio.com/contact.

About Ayana Bio
Ayana Bio uses plant cell cultivation to grow plant materials without growing them in the ground. Ayana Bio focuses on creating ingredients that leverage plant bioactives for health and wellness products. Plant cell-derived ingredients solve many of the sustainability, purity, safety and ethical concerns in current botanical supply chains. Ayana Bio collaborates with global industry leaders in food, beverage, dietary supplement, sports nutrition, animal care and skin care to bring the power of plant bioactives to the mass market at scale. Ayana Bio has partnered with the global leader in synthetic biology, Ginkgo Bioworks, to select, optimize and scale plant cell-cultivated ingredients. Ayana Bio is backed by prestigious investors, Viking Global and Cascade, to democratize nature’s bioactives.

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Kara Yacovone