Thursday, July 14, 2016

Biotech startup plans to fight illegal poaching by flooding "the market with cheap fake rhino products"

FC:

Pembient is moving quickly to bring its fake horns to market, beginning with a partnership with one of Beijing's largest breweries to make a rhino horn beer that will launch later this year. (Rhino horn has a reputation as a hangover cure, and is already used—on a smaller, illegal scale—in homemade spirits). The startup also developed a skin care line it plans to spin off, and will supply the product to traditional medicine pharmacies in places like China. The synthetic rhino horn will be sold as a branded ingredient in other products, like the Gore-Tex of the Asian supplement market.

The product will be sold as a powder and in horn form. In the last couple of months, while in residence at the San Francisco-based biotech accelerator IndieBio, the company figured out how to 3-D print powder into the shape of horns.