Breast laid plans: How Qld start-up aims to kick-start lives with wonder nutrient

16 Aug 2022

Sometime after 2024 Siobhan Coster’s company Eclipse could be using a “wonder nutrient” to cash in on the baby health market that has catapulted companies like Bubs on to the global stage.

Siobhan Coster sitting on stage at Pitch NightCoster has found a way to produce lactoferrin, the nutrient found in breast milk that boosts immunity, but has proved difficult to replicate. 

But she is aiming high.

“I see us being a global player when it comes to providing highly functional and high-quality nutritional ingredients. Eclipse can be one of the world’s leading suppliers of nutritional ingredients,” she said when she won the judges’ award at the UQ Ventures ilab pitch night earlier this year.

Succeeding would mean disrupting a market of about $US1.4 billion ($A2 billion).

Eclipse is expected to go to the market next year looking for investment funds, but at the moment it is in incubation with the CSIRO where scientists and commercialisation experts are helping Coster develop the product.

There are plenty of hurdles ahead including scaling up and regulatory approval as well as where to start production.

“At the moment we would love to do it in Queensland but the capability exists mainly in NSW. However, there are a lot of talks with the Government and CSIRO about building capability. That (a Queensland base) would be ideal but it is still to be determined,’’ she said.

The market currently relies on a process using expensive cows’ milk which uses 10,000 litres to make a kilogram of lactoferrin which sells on the market for $1500 a kilogram.

“We are using this awesome technology called precision fermentation. It’s been around for a number of decades and used predominantly in the pharmaceutical space (they use it to create insulin),’’ she said.

Read the full article on InQueensland

This article was originally published on InQueensland's website

Siobhan Coster participated in the 2022 ilab Accelerator program. During the three-month program Siobhan received mentorship, $10,000 to accelerate her startup, and was awarded ilab Entrepreneur of the Year and $5,000 at Pitch Night.