This month, biodesign startup Geltor and leading collagen manufacturer GELITA signed a multi-million dollar agreement to commercialize the world’s first animal-free collagen by late 2020. Since its launch in 2015, Geltor has been developing vegan proteins that replace their animal-derived counterparts—such as collagen (a component of gelatin)—for the skincare, food, and dietary supplement industry through a proprietary process that relies on plant-based fermentation. “This pact further solidifies our view that we have entered a new era in how proteins are being utilized to improve products that consumers around the world use every day. Today, the market is ready and eager for premium offerings of protein ingredients, and this is the need that Geltor is serving,” Geltor CEO and co-founder Alexander Lorestani said. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with GELITA on delivering the next-generation of collagens to consumers. For a relatively young and rapidly growing company like Geltor, to be partnering with GELITA and their longstanding track record of success on a deal of this size and scope is a dream come true.” Last year, Geltor raised $18.5 million in Series A funding, with participation from GELITA, with the goal of scaling production to effectively replace animal-derived proteins such as collagen in confections, beauty products, vitamins, and more.