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12 May, 2021 - 17:30 By Tony Quested

Plant protein material pioneer charts roadmap to glory

Cambridge University spin-out Xampla is on the launchpad and set to skyrocket with its plant protein alternatives to single-use plastics.

Xampla has hired two executives that could transform the growth blueprint ahead of its first products which will be brought to market this year.

Former Pladis Global head of packaging and Unilever R & D manager Leo Bianchi joins as head of product development while former CFO of ip.access – Laura Lawrence – has been recruited as chief financial officer. 

The business hired its first employee in January 2020 and has since grown to a 20-strong team following seed investment from world-leading technology investors Horizon Ventures and Amadeus Capital Partners.
Before working at Pladis Global, maker of McVitie’s, Bianchi worked at Burton’s Biscuits as head of packaging and led R & D efforts and product developments at Unilever for more than 19 years across both food and personal care categories.  

Lawrence was ip.access CFO for three years and FD prior to that. She oversaw the sale of ip.access to Mavenir Systems so is a key arrival as Xampla develops its commerciality.  

The product of 15 years of research by Cambridge University, Xampla has created the world’s first plant protein material for commercial use, engineering entirely natural alternatives to single-use plastics.  

Its material performs like synthetic polymers and offers a circular substitute for plastic sachets, flexible packaging films, edible labels and microplastics used in home and personal care products.  

Bianchi said: “Having worked in the packaging industry for decades, I’m excited to be playing my part in bringing sustainable solutions to market that offer a scalable solution to the plastics crisis.  

“It’s long been a challenge for businesses to find a truly circular packaging solution that has the same functionality as plastic to protect the quality of their products. Xampla’s material has this covered whilst also being completely circular. It’s a real game changer for the industry – and for the planet.” 

Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla, said: “Xampla may be a startup but the potential for our products to substitute conventional plastics is well-recognised, meaning we’re now in a position to be bringing aboard experts to scale the company at a global level.  

“I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Laura and Leo to the team. It’s clear they’re completely bought in to, and driven by, our mission to replace single-use plastics. Their expertise will be integral as we bring our launch products to market later this year.”   

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