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A Strategic Leap or a Loss for New Zealand As NewFish Heads To The US

In a move aimed at capturing a significant share of the large U.S. sports and active lifestyle nutrition market, New Zealand biotechnology company, NewFish, has announced its entry into the US based IndieBio’s Batch 15 cohort. This strategic step is accompanied by substantial funding from SOSV and the establishment of its headquarters and laboratory in San Francisco.

NewFish is the first Australasian biotech entity to join IndieBio. The company, which has developed an innovative approach to obtaining nutritional protein from water, is setting up its new operations around IndieBio’s headquarters in Dogpatch, San Francisco, starting February 2024. The company says the move is not just a geographical shift but a calculated move to align closely with the world's leading sports and active lifestyle nutrition market.

NewFish PFN Ai Graphic

Source: PFN Ai -NewFish Protein from Water

Founder of NewFish, Alex Worker, emphasises the importance of this new arrangement.

"IndieBio is an excellent validation platform for NewFish. SOSV is one of the world’s leading biotech funds and their ecosystem support is helping accelerate our scale-up plans and de-risk the remaining technology hurdles. We now expect to be supplying 10,000 tonnes of Marine Whey and specialised natural nutrition ingredients from water within the next five years.”

Dr. Adrienne McKee, NewFish’s CTO and a native of San Francisco, says this is a strategic fit for their technology in the American nutrition landscape. The company aims to provide licensable applications complementing and potentially outperforming traditional dairy whey concentrates at the same time addressing the growing demand for natural nutrition.

Indie Bio Lab image

Source: Indie Bio

While NewFish’s offshore move to the U.S. symbolises a strategic step towards accessing a larger market, it raises questions about the implications for New Zealand’s biotech industry. Is this a loss for New Zealand, or is it a testament to the country’s capability to produce companies that can compete on the global stage?

The move underscores the global nature of the biotech industry, where geographical boundaries become less significant compared to the vast opportunities presented by global markets.

NewFish's success in the US could pave the way for other New Zealand companies to follow suit, potentially leading to a more interconnected and globally competitive Kiwi biotech sector.

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