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Spiber, Inc.

Spiber, Inc.

Spiber, Inc is a private biomaterials company using industrial biotechnology to develop silk.

Spiber, Inc is a private biomaterials company using industrial biotechnology to develop silk. The company was launched in September 2007 by Kazuhide Sekiyama and is based in Japan. The company develops synthetic polymers with the properties of spider silk. The artificial spider silk thread produced by Spiber is called Qmonos.

Technology
Genetic engineering
Silk strands. Source.

The company has caught hundreds of spiders in order to analyze and better understand the genetic sequences behind the proteins that make up spider silk and give its characteristic strength. The company then uses this genetically engineered sequences of silk-protein DNA from the spiders and inserts them into the commonly used Escheria Coli bacteria. The genetically modified E. Coli are fed sugars and produce synthetic silk proteins. Spiber claims that a gram of their protein is capable of producing more than five miles of artificial silk. Other companies such as Bolt Threads, AMSilk, Araknitek, KAIST, and Kraig Labs are also developing technologies for synthetic silk.

The 'Moon Parka'  Source.
Partnerships
The North Face

Spiber partnered with Goldwin Inc., the Japanese distributor of The North Face brand, to produce a 'Moon Parka' using the synthetic silk. The parka was produced as a proof of concept and was not for sale as of June 2018.

Kojima Industries

Kojima Industries Corp, a supplier for Toyota Motor Company, partnered with Spiber in 2013 to build a prototype studio and a factory.

Funding and grants

Spiber has received funding both from government grants as well as venture investment.

Patents

Description
Status
Link
Date

Composite molding composition including fibroin-like protein, and method for producing composite molding composition

Pending

8/20/2015

Method for producing a polypeptide particles

Granted

4/25/2013

Method for producing artificial polypeptide microfine fiber

Granted

11/2/2011

Method for producing fibroin-like protein

Pending

5/21/2014

Method for producing fibroin-like protein

Pending

11/25/2015

Method for producing polymer aggregate

Pending

12/25/2015

Method for producing protein solution

Pending

12/1/2015

Method for producing recombinant protein

Pending

8/2/2016

Method for purifying recombinant protein

Pending

10/3/2016

Method of manufacturing a dyed protein fibers

Granted

6/28/2012

Molded article and method for producing molded article

Pending

9/18/2015

Molded article, production method for same, and method for improving degree of crystallization of molded article

Pending

1/29/2016

Molded article, production method for same, and method for improving toughness of molded article

Pending

1/29/2016

Molded body and method for producing molded body

Pending

9/2/2016

Polar solvent solution and production method thereof

Pending

4/9/2015

Polypeptide hydrogels and a method for manufacturing the same

Granted

4/25/2013

Polypeptide porous body and manufacturing method thereof

Granted

4/25/2013

Process for the preparation of fibroin-like protein

Pending

5/21/2014

Production method for insoluble recombinant protein aggregate

Pending

8/10/2016

Spider silk protein films and a method of manufacturing the same

Granted

12/26/2012

The extraction method of the hydrophilic recombinant protein

Granted

12/27/2012

Timeline

September 1, 2017
Spiber's research proposal selected by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Spiber's proposal, titled "Development of high-performance material made of engineered protein for use as a fertilizer for plant cultivation" was accepted,

December 8, 2016
Moon Parka prototype goes on display at North Face flagship New York store
September 16, 2016
QMONOS will be used in Lexus concept seat

Spiber's synthetic spider silk thread will be used in the creation of the Lexus kinetic seat concept.

April 1, 2007
Spiber, Inc. raises a $90,000 seed round.
2007
Spiber, Inc. was founded by Kazuhide Sekiyama.

Funding rounds

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Kazuhide Sekiyama

President

Kenji Higashi

Director

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Japanese Spider-Man Hopes to Spin Startup Gold from Artificial Silk

Masumi Suga and Kiyotaka Matsuda

Spider Silk Poised For Commercial Entry | March 3, 2014 Issue - Vol. 92 Issue 9 | Chemical & Engineering News

Alex Scott

Startup Says It’s the First to Make Synthetic Spider Silk

Joe Ray, Garrett M. Graff, Issie Lapowsky, Davey Alba, Tom Simonite, Rhett Allain, Nitasha Tiku, Louise Matsakis, Gigi Sohn

The North Face's 'Moon Parka' Is Spun From Faux Spider Silk

Margaret Rhodes

Yamagata biotech firm synthesizes spider silk to spin web of innovative products | The Japan Times

Mai Ilda

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

References

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