Milltrust Ventures announces investment into Green Bioactives Ltd.

December 21, 2022

BY Archie Thomason

Milltrust International is proud to announce an investment into Green Bioactives Ltd (GBL), the leading pioneer in the discovery, development and sustainable production of high-value natural products derived from plant cell cultures.

GBL has recently completed a £2.6 million seed financing round that will enable growth in production capabilities, in addition to reinforcing research and management teams.

GBL is the leader in the commercial utilisation of plant vascular stem cells, and this has allowed them to create a reliable and economical platform for the sustainable biomanufacturing of plant biomolecules that are widely used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and agricultural industries.

It is estimated that only 5-15% of the approximately 750,000 species of plants in the Amazon rainforest have been screened for beneficial bioactive compounds[1]. However, once discovered, the process of transforming them into viable commercial products is inefficient and destructive of its natural source. For example, paclitaxel, a commonly used cancer-treating drug, is derived from the bark of Pacific Yew Trees (Taxus brevifolia), the harvesting of which kills the tree in the process. These trees take up to 60 years to reach full maturity. GBL’s novel technology allows them to avoid harvesting host trees or plants, which are in many instances rare and protected. Their biomanufacturing platform allows them to isolate stem cells and work with gene switches to dramatically increase yields, which avoids harvesting the trees themselves. Such a technological breakthrough not only improves the environmental sustainability of bioactive generation but can also dramatically reduce the cost of manufacturing.

GBL’s founder and CSO, Gary Loake, is a very highly regarded molecular plant scientist, with an unparalleled knowledge of the biosynthesis and production of plant bioactives. He has led the work that has resulted in GBL’s unique technologies in capturing and cultivating biomolecules that will be vital to improving the sustainability of many global industries that today rely on nature’s plethora of remedies.

David McElroy, CEO of GBL, commented in a press release: “This £2.6m seed funding is an incredibly exciting milestone for Green Bioactives, and we’re delighted to have attracted such a strong international investor base – demonstrating the global commercial potential of our plant cell culture-based biomanufacturing platform. The investment comes at a key time for the company, as we prepare for further growth and continue to develop our technology, working towards our goal of becoming the world’s leading supplier of safe, natural and sustainably-sourced plant-derived products.”

Milltrust’s commitment to GBL is aligned with our historic philosophy of optimising the resources that nature provides while providing environmental and economic sustainability. With our ever-increasing exploitation of natural resources, we firmly believe that the future will favour solutions that use environmentally and economically sustainable solutions and methods that can reduce environmental degradation. As awareness grows of the importance and value of natural capital, national and legal systems around the globe will continue to support and reinforce innovation that will prioritise our natural resources, and we believe that the future lies in the success of the pioneers that find the solutions that will improve our future.

We are also very proud to see that GBL is the third company from Milltrust’s portfolio to become part of the community at the renowned Roslin Innovation Centre, Edinburgh. With strong ties across the UK, this will provide a strong local and global impact for our portfolio of associated companies.

Milltrust International is a leading UK and Singapore-based investment group focused on sustainable investing. Milltrust International LLP is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom and serves as investment manager and investment adviser for a range of sustainable institutional investment solutions focused on Global Emerging Markets, Agriculture, Science, Technology & Innovation, Climate Change, and other Sustainable impact investments.

Milltrust Ventures’ Green Earth Ventures is a discretionary venture capital portfolio domiciled in Singapore investing in pioneering real climate solution ventures across the Energy Transition, Clean-Tech, Recycling Waste Streams, Crop and Animal Protection Innovations, and Food Production Systems.

[1] J. Romero, 2013, Why it’s worth saving the Amazon rainforest: A market-based solution

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