Shanghai’s Hybrid Protein Pioneers

May 30 2024

CellX is a Shanghai-based cellular agriculture company that creates breakthrough alternative protein products. The team uses a hybrid production process that combines animal cells–sourced via a small biopsy–and plant-based ingredients to create flavorful cultivated meat products. CellX is one of six finalists in XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion and looks forward to showcasing its sustainable chicken breast alternative in the finals. 

CEO Ziliang Yang, along with a team of vegan and vegetarian members, founded the company in 2020. Unable to find a high-quality, sustainable product on the market, they saw an opportunity for change and decided to create the synthetically grown meat they had been seeking. 

XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competitor team CellX's alternative protein solutions on white plates.

Their success in creating these products resulted in CellX launching China’s first cultivated meat factory, a space that also serves as a “transparent food space” where consumers can learn about where their food comes from and watch cell cultivated meat production from start to finish. 

“There has been a continuous effort and attention from different industries in this area, and in the past decade, we have seen it gain more and more traction. I’m glad that finding alternative proteins to feed the whole population with better, safer, more sustainable food resources is being recognized.” -Meng Li, Project Lead

CellX says that participating in XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion has helped the company in three ways. First, it has pushed their thinking about what the product should be from a nutritional, texture, and flavor point of view; second, it has helped them rethink how to make their synthetically grown meat even more sustainable; and third, it has motivated the team by providing a tangible goal to work towards.

“As a team, we’ve been working on this product for quite some time and it’s been an incredible journey and pleasure to work with these amazing people. We’re really excited about our product and cannot wait to show it to the rest of the world.” -Xiaofeng Wang, New Process Design Engineer

CellX firmly believes that the world needs a new source of man-made protein to sustain our future population and aims to be the best in the world at producing sustainable proteins. Even so, Ziliang Yang acknowledged that the other finalist teams have produced excellent solutions and looks forward to seeing the positive impact all the finalists will have on the world. 

To learn more about CellX as they head to finals, follow along at