Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of spider silk, said Thursday that easing travel restrictions and re-opening business operations throughout Vietnam has re-energized the company as it moves forward with the production of finished goods utilizing its specialized recombinant spider silk.
Safety protocols and restrictions enacted at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam led to closures and slowdowns of many businesses throughout the country, most notably in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City. The majority of these restrictions did not directly impact the company’s subsidiary, so Prodigy Textiles, located in central Vietnam, did not stop the production of its specialized silkworms.
However, those shutdowns affected Prodigy’s employees and the company, including delayed laboratory equipment deliveries that curtailed operational growth, and slowdowns at yarn spinners and weavers, which limited the company’s ability to convert its raw silk into finished fabrics and garments.
Now, as these restrictions are lifting, Kraig Labs said it’s ready to accelerate the scale-up of silkworm production with the scheduled delivery and installation of new quality control (QC) lab equipment. In the absence of the genetic screening that this new QC lab equipment will enable, the company kept production below peak capacity to ensure a stable and healthy silkworm colony.
This month brought several significant regulatory orders easing those restrictions, once again allowing the movement and travel for crucial goods, services and personnel throughout the country. With the re-opening of textile mills and yarn spinners, Kraig Labs is now resuming work to produce the custom yarns and spider silk fabrics for the launch of SpydaSilk apparel, a joint development partnership with Kings Golden Harvest PTE Ltd.
“We are pleased to see conditions in Vietnam improving for its people and its economy,” Kraig Labs chief operating officer Jon Rice said. “In the coming weeks, we expect to receive and install several pieces of lab equipment delayed due to lockdowns. This quality assurance equipment will play a key role in our continued production expansion.”
“Most critically, with this re-opening, we can once again work with the textile mills to weave our silk into the finished fabrics for the first garments for SpydaSilk and to supply materials to the numerous other brands eager to incorporate spider silk into their products,” Rice added.