Novo Growth led a $25.7m round for The Protein Brewery, which is seeking regulatory clearance for its fermentation-based vegetarian protein ingredients.

The Protein Brewery, a Netherlands-based developer of animal-free protein ingredients, secured €22m ($25.7m) on Tuesday in a series A round led by pharmaceutical firm Novo through its Novo Growth subsidiary.

Roquette Ventures, the investment arm of plant-based ingredients producer Roquette, also took part in the round, as did alternative protein-focused investment firm Unovis Asset Management.

Founded in January this year when it was split off from industrial biotechnology producer BioscienZ, The Protein Brewery is using microbial fermentation technology to develop protein-rich, animal-free food ingredients.

The company is looking to set up a pilot production facility as it seeks regulatory approval for its lead product, Fermotein. It expects to receive approval US approval in 2021 and clearance in Europe the following year.

Thomas Grotkjær, principal at Novo Holdings’ Novo Seeds unit, said: “Integrating alternative proteins that successfully deliver on sustainable development goals is essential to feed a growing world population while taking care of the future of our planet and its people.

“The Protein Brewery meets the criteria investors seek in this space: the state-of-the-art quality, which is superior to all current options in the marketplace.

“Fermotein has a strong nutrition and sustainability profile and can be applicable to a wide range of high-demand products. With it, the company is well positioned to enter a €30 billion-plus market for alternative proteins.”

Grotkjær has also taken a position on the company’s advisory board, along with Roquette Ventures CEO Edouard Nuttin and Kim Odhner of Unovis Asset Management.