Prolacta Bioscience Renews With Breast Milk Group

Monrovia-based Prolacta Bioscience, the venture backed firm which is extracting nutritional fortification from human breast milk, used to help premature and other ill infants, said Wednesday that it has renewed an agreement with the International Breast Milk Project (IBMP), a provider of donated breast milk to infants suffering from HIV/AIDS, malnourishment, poverty, and disease. According to Prolacta, it will process all donor milk collected through IBMP, ensuring milk safety, providing donor screening, providing drug testing, pasteurization, final product testing, labeling, and packaging for the IBMP.

Prolacta said 25 percent of the first, 400,000 ounces of donated breast milk from IBMP will go to infants in Africa orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, or who are suffering from HIV/AIDS, malnourishment, poverty, and disease; with the remaining 75 percent going towards production of its human-milk derived fortifiers used to treat critically ill and premature infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICU).

Prolacta is extracting milk proteins and other compounds for treating low birth weight infants weighing less than 1250 grams at birth, as an alternative to the current use of cow milk based fortifiers. Cow milk based fortifiers--which, although cheapers than human milk fortifiers--can result in necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a condition related to the intolerance of cow-based milk. Prolacta is venture backed by Alta Partners, DFJ Frontier, Arcturus Capital, DFJ Mercury, Funk Ventures, Phillip Capital, Gideon Hixon Fund, and Draper Associates L.P..