Materials

AMSilk and 21st.BIO Forge Alliance to Scale Bioproduced Spider Silk Proteins “From Kilos to Tons”

German Biotech AMSilk GmbH announces a partnership with the Danish bioproduction leader 21st.BIO, to accelerate the production of advanced bioproduced spider silk proteins to meet the growing demand for sustainable material solutions.

“Moving production quantities from kilos to tons brings AMSilk’s technology to the next level”

As part of the collaboration, 21st.BIO has developed precision-fermented microorganisms that can be used to produce silk proteins on an industrial scale. According to 21st.BIO, the new strain ensures the extracellular expression of silk proteins while enabling biomanufacturing at unprecedented productivity levels, supporting higher yield, greater efficiency, and reduced production costs. 

Gudrun Vogtentanz, CSO at AMSilk, shares: “Through 21st.BIO, we now have access to more efficient production strains, which are a game changer in terms of the efficiency and sustainability of our feedstock. Moving production quantities from kilos to tons brings AMSilk’s technology to the next level.”

A spider web
© AMSilk

Vegan silk proteins 

AMSilk has developed fermentation technologies to produce strong and flexible silk proteins that can be used in unlimited applications, including vegan fibers, beads, gels, coatings, biofilms, home textiles, footwear, bags, and automobile components. 

Moreover, the company’s spider silk proteins are biodegradable, biocompatible, and sourced from renewable vegan raw materials. As a result, silk protein materials are 100% biodegradable and microplastic-free.

AMSilk’s proprietary technology platform allows for the customization of material properties at a molecular level to meet specific application needs. So, this expansion will enable AMSilk to broaden its portfolio with different types of fibers and proteins. 

Last year, the German innovator raised €25 million, bringing its investment capital to €54 million. The company has partnered with Mercedes Benz, Omega, Airbus, and other leading luxury, footwear, and automotive brands to develop prototypes and the first-ever commercial silk protein products. 

adidas trainer made with amsilk vegan textile
© AMSIlk

Sustainable materials at scale

Conversely, 21st.BIO specializes in precision fermentation technology and has been perfecting production strains for over 40 years. It also supports its customers with services and solutions for biomanufacturing.

By 2026, the production of bioplastics worldwide is expected to increase threefold, reflecting the substantial potential of spider silk proteins created via precision fermentation in meeting the rising demand for eco-friendly materials, says AMSilk.

Per Falholt, CSO at 21st.BIO, says: “Our partnership has already led to some key milestone achievements (…). We are confident that within a short time frame, we can achieve a significant reduction in production costs, enabling AMSilk to enter higher value markets.”

Ulrich Scherbel, CEO of AMSilk, adds: “By partnering with 21st.BIO, we are succeeding where so many have struggled, delivering high-performance precision fermentation at the right quality and cost parameters and at a truly industrial scale.”

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