As the Company prepares for commercialization of its engineered spider silk, Kraig Labs shares information on the developing industry.
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCQB: KBLB) (“Company”), the leading developer of spider silk based fibers, releases the following statement regarding developments in the growing Spider Silk Industry.
Spider silk’s toughness is said to be 10 times greater than steel and some silks are nearly as elastic as rubber. According to some studies, spider silks can be two to three times tougher than even Kevlar, which explains why so many researchers have targeted this fiber for protective clothing and body armor applications, as well as other potential military applications including technical undergarments and more practical ropes.
Numerous scientific studies have highlighted spider silk’s many intrinsic qualities and why it may be the ideal fiber for a slew of applications. For example, spider silk’s maximal resilience, or ability to absorb energy, makes it one of the sturdiest materials on a weight-to-weight basis. These properties could make spider silk the foundation for many lightweight products, including air bags, seat belts, flexible bridge suspension cables, sports helmets and motor vehicle panels.
Additionally, studies have shown spider silk to be antimicrobial, biocompatible, hypoallergenic and totally biodegradable. Spider silk is a biomaterial that could be the platform on which to develop many medical technologies, like better bandages, elastic ligaments, and artificial tendons and even biodegradable water bottles.
Concurrent to Kraig Labs positioning for commercial production of its advanced fibers, many independent scientific studies have shown great promise in a vast array of potential spider silk applications. The Company would like to congratulate all efforts that advance spider silk technologies. A few recent examples of that work are provided below. Each of these reports is entirely unaffiliated with Kraig Labs, and we therefore have not and cannot authenticate any specific conclusions.
- Extremely thin sutures for eye or nerve surgery http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016990
- Biosensors https://phys.org/news/2012-10-eco-friendly-optics-spider-silk-talents.html
- Hearing aids https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52826-Spider-silk-could-offer-breakthrough-in-hearing-aid-microphones
- Air quality improvement https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114113339.htm
- Artificial skin https://www.livescience.com/15443-artificial-skin-spun-spider-silk.html
As noted in the linked report, just the chronic wounds, such as bedsores in hospitalized patients, afflict 6.5 million in the United States for an estimated $25 billion annually. The Company believes that the various scientific discoveries in the spider silk space were instrumental in seeing over $300 million in funding flow into spider silk platform development over the past few years. One of the Company’s current competitors is approaching $196 million in aggregate funding, including $106 million in 2017, potentially valuing that pre-production technology at more than $1 billion dollars, when applying a commonly used valuation formula.
“As Kraig Labs prepares to transition into commercial production, we plan to expand our R&D focus and, given the tremendous interest in spider silk, we believe that we will have many great opportunities to grow newly discovered application into new business lines with strong growth potential. As we initiate a process to explore further scientific alliances our objective is to help maximize the future value of Kraig Labs,” stated Kim Thompson, Kraig Labs’ CEO and Founder.
Industrial applications may include flexible bridge suspension cables, better fishing nets and unrippable paper. Spider silk’s well-balanced combination of strength and elasticity may even be combined with graphene to create the next generation of metamaterials.
Under funding from the US Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation professor Xinwei Wang at Iowa State University published a paper on Spider silks ability to conduct heat as well or better than most materials, including very good conductors such as silicon, aluminum and pure iron. That discovery reportedly “opens a door for soft materials to be another option for thermal conductivity tuning,” as stated by professor Wang in the above reference publication. This may inspire better semiconductors and lead to the creation of flexible, heat-dissipating parts for electronics, microchips, better clothes for hot weather, bandages that don’t trap heat and many other everyday applications.
By designing a high performance fiber, based on a proven efficient and ecologically friendly production platform, the Company’s objective is to target a broad cross section of applications in the $160 billion (projected) technical fibers market and the budding smart textile markets. The Company intends to also target the mundane markets, like active wear and the $5 billion raw silk fibers market, which have tighter pricing elasticity.
“It’s very exciting to think that we may be positioned to focus our efforts and resources on participating in advancing some of the many researchers who approach us to employ our fibers for various potential mechanical applications and we’re looking forward to collaborations that could open a new realm of possibilities for our technology,” said Jon Rice, Kraig Labs’ COO.
About Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc.
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. a fully reporting biotechnology company is the leading developer of genetically engineered spider silk based fiber technologies. The Company has achieved a series of scientific breakthroughs in the area of spider silk technology with implications for the global textile industry.