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Cultured meat startup Higher Steaks nabs $30M and rebrands as Uncommon


U.K.-based cultivated meat startup Higher Steaks has raised $30 million in a Series A round of funding and revealed that it’s changing its name to Uncommon.
Founded out of Cambridge in 2017, Uncommon is one of countless companies pushing to make cultured “lab-grown” meat a reality in kitchens and restaurants around the globe, covering everything from synthetic sausages and bogus burgers to pseudo-seafood. Uncommon, for its part, is mostly focused on the $250 billion global pork market, developing bacon and pork belly products.
Uncommon founders: Chief science officer Dr. Ruth Faram with CEO Benjamina Bollag Image Credits: Uncommon
Regulatory hurdles has meant that meat made from animal cells in a test tube have been slow to gain a foothold, with Singapore currently the only market in the world where cultured meat is available for sale. The Food and Drug Association (FDA) in the U.S. also recently started rubberstamping such edibles as being safe for human consumption.
Some countries, though, are pushing back against the burgeoning fake-meat revolution, including Italy which is mulling an outright ban on lab-developed food to safeguard its culinary heritage.
But another longstanding challenge of bringing cultivated meat to market has been scalability. Being able to produce large enough quantities of cultured meat at a low enough price is problematic, with some companies pursuing a hybrid lab-grown meat / plant-based protein approach to get their products to market faster.
Uncommon, though, says it’s using a technique involving a polymeric molecule called RNA (ribonucleic acid), or more specifically mRNA, which essentially contains “instructions” that enable cells to make proteins from its own internal functions.
“This also means that Uncommon can create real meat without usi …

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