Sigma Life Science, Kraig Biocraft To Develop Silkworms For Spider Silk Production

Sigma Life Science — the biological products and services research business of St. Louis-based life
science and high technology company Sigma-Aldrich Corp. — and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc. — a
Lansing, Mich.-based developer of recombinant technologies and fibers — have signed a licensing
agreement under which Kraig will use Sigma’s proprietary CompoZr® Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN)
technology to transfer spider silk genes to silkworms with the goal of commercializing production
of spider silk. Silk from spiders has been shown to have greater tensile strength and elasticity
than silk from silkworms, and potential applications include biomedical products such as sutures
and materials for tendon and ligament repair, ballistic textiles such as bulletproof vests, and
automobile airbags.

“Sigma-Aldrich’s proprietary zinc finger technologies are extremely powerful tools which
enable very precise genetic targeting,” said Kim Thompson, CEO, Kraig Biocraft. “We are convinced
that this technology is the key to creating advanced new products and materials. We believe that
when these customized tools are delivered by Sigma in the coming weeks, the technology will enable
us to rapidly and precisely target specific gene sequences for the creation of stronger fibers,
advanced textiles and new bio-materials.”

“ZFN technology has been revolutionary in genome engineering for various applications,
including animal models of disease, engineering of biopharmaceutical production systems, academic
research and therapeutics,” said Dr. Joseph Bedell, director, Commercial Animal Technologies Group,
Sigma Life Science. “Spider silk production is just the first example of a potential commercial
animal application for this exciting technology.”  

April 12, 2011