Summary: Kraig Labs (OTCQB: KBLB) should soon deliver its first batches of spider silk fibers and fabrics, which, in addition to potentially upending parts of the $multibillion polymers space, may have major implications, from generating the Company’s first retail sales to advancing the Company’s move to the NASDAQ
DENVER, Colo., September 27, 2021- From groceries to prescriptions, delivery of essential goods is increasingly driving today’s economy.
I’m not poo-pooing the importance of anyone’s toilet paper delivery, but, compared to that, Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (OTCQB: KBLB) delivering its first retail spider silk fibers has the hallmarks of a next level event and the Company stated, in last week’s announcement, that it plans to begin weaving several thousand yards of finished fabric incorporating its recombinant spider silk.
What’s the Spider Silk fuss about?
If you’re not familiar with spider silk, the media has often referred to it as the “Holy Grail” of fibers, due to the fibers’ many amazing mechanical qualities, including toughness, which is the combination of tensile strength and flexibility, biocompatibility, and biodegradability. Kraig Labs technologies exceed native spider silks in terms of strength and elasticity.
It’s documented that mankind first recognized spider silks’ amazing properties thousands of years ago and has been dreaming about creating spider silk based products ever since. However, despite multiple countries and numerous private efforts, including some of the planet’s largest companies, like Dupont and BASF, collectively spending billions in their efforts, there was no feasible way to mass produce the superfiber.
Although others have tried to follow them, Kraig Labs has consistently led the way with new genetic engineering breakthroughs, including coverage in the prestigious peer reviewed science Journal of the National Academy of Sciences, “Silkworms Transformed with Chimeric Silkworm/Spider Silk Genes Spin Composite Silk Fibers with Improved Mechanical Properties”.
For example, Kraig Labs created several lines of transgenic silkworms, including silkworms that achieved essentially pure spider silk, a paradigm shift for the genetic engineering of superfibers, which seemingly opens endless opportunities for the Company.
Essentially pure spider silk means that, other than the few very specific proteins that Kraig Labs wanted to keep for maximum fiber performance, the Company removed all of the native silkworm proteins and replaced them with intricate spider silk proteins, so that Kraig Labs’ silkworms can produce superfibers that are affordable, ecofriendly, and significantly more advanced than any of the competing methods.
Kraig Labs’ knock-in knock-out technology allows for very complex spider silk protein sequences that are about four times more complex than published technologies and the Company is working with Darwin Bark Spider silk, which is 10 times stronger than Kevlar. Additionally, Kraig Labs is able to customize fibers, by dialing in more specific performance traits, which increases the inroad options to penetrate the $180 billion per year global technical textile market.
Sure, the laboratory achievements are impressive, but what about the real world?
The Vietnamese government invited Kraig Labs to set up shop there over eight years ago, but the government needed to change its legal framework to allow production to take place, a process that ultimately took over seven years.
After setting up its first factory, which produced some recombinant spider silk, Kraig Labs recently decided to move Prodigy Textiles, the Company’s Vietnamese subsidiary, to a better suited facility and recently stated that it’s on the verge of delivering the first retail user samples and booking its initial retail sales.
Although Dragon Silk’s purity rate is only about a tenth of the new technology, Kraig Labs reported that some Dragon Silk fiber samples exceed 2 gigapascals (GPa), which is tougher than many bullet proof vest fibers and even outperforms Darwin’s bark spider 1.65 GPa, so these fibers should be able to capture its share of the $17 billion silk market and grow from there.
The primary reason that those entities desire to see mass production of spider silk is that, just like spider webs are able to absorb its prey’s impact energy, the fiber’s ability to absorb energy could be the key to creating the next generation of lightweight and breathable anti-ballistic clothing.
These fibers can be knitted, woven, or blended with other materials to form composites, rapidly expanding this relatively new technology’s fan base, which ranges from the many spider silk scientists who believe that it’s the basis for potential medical breakthroughs and vital statistic monitoring clothing, to athletes who are ready for the next generation of technical textiles (compression garments to athletic tapes) that will help them become faster, stronger and healthier.
Air Force scientists want to develop a functional fiber that may keep our troops lighter and cooler. Applications range from parachutes that are able to carry larger payloads to high performance applications that utilize natural silk’s cooling and temperature regulation properties of natural silk, which radiates more heat than it absorbs when in direct sunlight. When compared to reflective materials, silk drops 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit, on hot summer days, and may be incorporated in clothing and Forward Operating Base tents.
What’s so Special about this Delivery?
Kraig Labs appears to be standing only a few key steps from unleashing a new product that could completely change a portion of the technical fibers market. It’s thought that the Company’s current competitors, which collectively raised over $300 million, are looking to commercialize fibers that are projected to cost $35,000-$50,000 per kilo to produce, as opposed to Kraig’s fibers that can be produced at price points much closer in line with traditional silk pricing, due to their transgenic silkworms and the existing silk infrastructure in Vietnam.
Kraig Labs appears to be on target to deliver the fabrics to Spydasilk, Kraig’s co-owned apparel brand, to lockdown the Company’s first retail sales, in the next few weeks and then deliver the first retail fibers to Polartec, a leader in high performance non-woven fabrics, shortly thereafter.
Obviously, producing any one-of-a-kind product is huge, but the Company’s CEO stated that booking its first retail sales may be the gateway to uplisting to the NASDAQ and, should Kraig Labs reach successful completion of this key milestone, one of the special delivery’s crown jewels should be an uplisting funding that may be valued as high as $24 million.
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