NutraWomen Wednesday: Leila Strickland, PhD, Biomilq

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags nutrawomen wednesday HMOs Infant nutrition

Biomilq is a women-owned infant nutrition company that is producing cultured breastmilk in a lab. The company’s co-founder and CSO, Leila Strickland, PhD, sat down to discuss the inspiration behind this new kind of infant formula.

“At the time that I was finishing up my postdoctoral fellowship, I also was becoming a mom and had just had my first child and found myself really struggling with the breastfeeding process in ways that I really had not anticipated. I had no idea how difficult this process could be. So the scientist in me went to work on the problem,” ​said Strickland. “That led to some thought about if I could reproduce this process outside the body using cell culture methods.”

Today, Strickland leads a team of researchers working on the technology for the industrial production of a product mimicking breastmilk. 

“There’s a place for a product like ours, it’s somewhere in between breast milk and infant formula, really offering a lot of the benefits of breastfeeding. Certainly not all of them, it doesn't reproduce the breastfeeding experience. It doesn't contain some of the bioactives that are in breast milk, but it does provide many of them. And in fact, has a composition that's much closer to human milk than a bovine, or plant-based infant formula,”​ she said. 

Strickland said Biomilq also offers more options for adoptive, gay and trans parents. 

“If we can take that process outside the body, then there's no reason why babies of any configuration of parents shouldn't be able to have access to those benefits.”

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