Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Announces Creation of Seven New Strains of Transgenic Silkworms Using Zinc Finger Nuclease Technology
LANSING, MI -- (Marketwire) -- 11/14/11 -- Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCQB: KBLB) (PINKSHEETS: KBLB) (the "Company" or "Kraig") announced that researchers at the University of Notre Dame, utilizing customized zinc finger configurations licensed to Kraig from Sigma-Aldrich, succeeded in creating seven or more strains of transgenically modified silkworms.
The Company believes that this breakthrough removes the largest barrier to pure spider silk technology.
The zinc finger nuclease were designed to cleave the silkworm's native heavy chain gene. The resulting silkworms were inter-mated to produce 50 mating pairs, which each produced clutches of approximately 100 eggs. Genetic testing designed to detect mutations at the site of zinc finger cleavage were preformed and the testing recovered positive results for zinc finger disruption, therefore knockout of the native heavy chain gene in embryos, from 7 of the first 13 mating pairs, analyzed.
"This success rate is much higher than we ever expected," said Company CEO and founder Kim Thompson. "The laboratory reports that seven new strains of transgenics have been confirmed so far."
"The bottom line is that zinc finger nuclease works exceedingly well for our particular targets. Our adopting this technology was a bit of a gamble at the time, but it turns out to have been one of the smartest moves we could have made. We view this genetic knockout as the achievement of our greatest scientific goal for 2011," continued Thompson.
Dr. Malcolm Fraser reported, "We anticipate that we will be able to recover homozygous knockout silkworms from these pools of embryos with little difficulty. These homozygous commercial strain heavy chain knockouts will serve as a more effective platform technology for rapid development and commercialization of future spider silk transgenics, allowing us to readily recover commercially ready spider silk transgenics by simply screening for the production of cocoons."
Dr. Fraser concluded, "This Zinc Finger approach exceeded our best expectations in terms of its capabilities for introducing mutations in silkworms. The frequency of mutation events and the capability of working directly with the commercial strains give a much more rapid route to new, commercially relevant transgenics."
The Company believes that the next generation of its technology, which utilizes zinc fingers, will significantly expand its product capabilities and target markets.
Thompson further stated, "Dr. Fraser and his team have once again verified our scientific models. The results also serve as proof of efficacy for the creation of targeted transgenics, and confirm our confidence in the power of zinc finger technologies. We now believe that we have both the platform and targeted transgenic capabilities which we need to create Generation II and Generation III technical textiles."
The Company is already ramping up production of Monster Silk, its previously disclosed product which is the subject of the Company's recent licensing agreement with the University of Notre Dame. While Monster Silk is targeted for conventional applications, the Company believes that the technology described in today's announcement will ultimately unlock applications for technical textiles and broader markets.
About Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc.
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (www.KraigLabs.com) is a fully reporting biotechnology company that has achieved a series of scientific breakthroughs with implications for the global textile industry.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Information
Statements in this press release about the Company's future and expectations other than historical facts are "forward-looking statements." These statements are made on the basis of management's current views and assumptions. As a result, there can be no assurance that management's expectations will necessarily come to pass. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as "believes," "plans," "expects," "anticipates," "foresees," "estimated," "hopes," "develops," "researching," "research," "potential," "could" or other words or phrases of similar import. Similarly, statements in this release that describe the Company's business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals should all be considered forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Management cautions that its ability to further its research, and create commercially-viable products may be affected by the competitive environment, the Company's financial condition and its ability to raise sufficient capital to meet the financial obligations of its business plan and to fund its continuing operations.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale of any securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.