In a world where the value of a company is increasingly based upon its intellectual capital, Kraig Biocraft Laboratories appears to have a solid future. That’s because the Michigan-based biotechnology development company has a lock on a very good idea, an idea that could be the key to a market representing billions of dollars in estimated annual sales.

The market is the resilient technical fibers market, currently controlled by Kevlar, DuPont’s super tough para-aramid synthetic fiber. Today Kevlar is used in body armor, bicycle tires, racing sales, audio equipment, buildings, and a host of other applications where the strength to weight ratio must be exceptional. Sales of Kevlar approach $5 billion annually.

But now there is a new fiber knocking on the door that has significant advantages over Kevlar. The fiber is spider silk, more elastic that Kevlar, hypoallergenic and biodegradable, and with the highest strength to weight ratio known, other than perhaps single wall carbon nanotubes. Kraig Biocraft’s great idea is how to produce it. You can’t just round up a billion spiders and let them do their thing, primarily because they tend to attack each other. Nature’s best known silk producer, the silkworm, doesn’t have this problem, but the silkworm doesn’t product spider silk.

Kraig’s brilliant answer to the problem was to get together some of the best minds in the field of genetics, and have them come up with a way to modify silkworms so that they produce spider silk and other specialized proteins. Using some of the most advanced genetic engineering techniques, Kraig has managed to insert the spider’s silk-producing genetic codes into silkworms, and has now verified the efficacy of the transfer. With each new accomplishment, the company appears closer to its goal of creating transgenic silkworms capable of producing significant amounts of spider silk.

However, it’s not that Kraig Biocraft plans on going into large scale production. For Kraig, it’s all about the intellectual capital, the golden key that a more production minded enterprise could use to unlock untold future wealth. That’s why more and more people have their eye on the company, and why a relatively small company is seen to have a very big potential value.

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