Silk Therapeutics Inc., announced today the simultaneous allowance of 5 US patent applications, which cover a new class of pure, natural, silk protein. Silk Therapeutics is a specialty biotechnology company with expertise in the development of silk-based products for use in biomedicine and consumer goods. Its mission: improving human health through products used to treat, enhance or come in contact with the skin.
Scientists at the company have been granted a patent portfolio that now covers over 75 different claimed formulations of low to medium molecular weight, natural silk protein in a pure, homogeneous state. This marks a new class of silk protein, and results from the scientific founders’ commitment to develop a more biocompatible and tailorable form of silk protein that is stable in a liquid state and less reactive when implanted into the body or in contact with the skin.
These novel, natural silk protein formulations will support the development of innovative skincare, medical devices, and consumer goods like performance fabrics. By replacing synthetic polymers, plastics and other (in some instances unregulated) chemicals, these silk-based advances will have direct benefits to women and children’s health by reducing the total burden of unnecessary chemicals.
“We will use this new, advanced class of silk biomaterials to help global businesses create chemical-free and more biocompatible products that offer the utmost in safety, effectiveness and performance,” said Greg Altman, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Silk Therapeutics. “The innovations this technology will advance will redefine industry practices across multiple markets,” Altman said, adding “we have already achieved production scale quantities to support research, development, and commercialization via an ecologically-friendly process.”
Natural silk fabrics and human skin have been in relationship for millennia, and the biocompatibility of silk is well established in the scientific literature. “In fact, one of the first recorded uses of a medical device was a silk suture for the skin,” said Rebecca (Horan) Lacouture, PhD, Chief Operating Officer. “However, research tells us that silk protein when implanted into the human body, especially in high concentrations, can sometimes cause an unwanted inflammatory reaction,” said Lacouture.
“We’ve taken natural silk, reverted to its purest, liquid state, and tailored it for applications where such innovation is most needed,” adds Lacouture. “It’s both a renaissance and a revolution in silk science.”
The company is already developing new applications of its silk-based technologies to complement its line of clean, performance-based skincare.