Kraig Biocraft Laboratories is on track to scale domestic production of spider silk-based fibers.
The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based biotechnology firm recently hatched more than 40,000 silkworms at its new production facility in Indiana and said it’s on track to fulfill its contract with the U.S. government on time and on budget.
In fact, Kraig said that it has such a large inventory of silkworm eggs that it plans to ramp up its hatch rate over the coming weeks and intends to hire and train additional staff to keep up with the growing production volumes.
“Bringing this facility online is a major milestone for Kraig Labs and a significant step forward for spider silk manufacturing,” said Jon Rice, chief operating officer. “With this facility, we now have the capability to rapidly respond to the numerous request we receive for our record setting Dragon Silk. I would like to congratulate our team, whom have been working tirelessly to meet our production schedule and to see this goal realized.”
Next up, Kraig plans to plant thousands of mulberry trees (their leaves are the sole source of nutrition for growing silkworms) as it prepares to expand its U.S. operations. The company is also working on setting up two separate international production facilities.
Last March, Kraig revealed it would form a subsidiary in Vietnam, opening an advanced hybrid silk research and pilot production operation there. Two months later, the company said it would open more than one additional production location, including domestic options.
Kraig is known for a series of material science breakthroughs using its genetic engineering technologies, including a patent-pending Dragon Silk fiber that the company has claimed is stronger and more flexible than native spider silk.