A natural biomaterial you did not expect
The collaboration between Cosetex/T.Silk and Vaxess Technologies, one of the most dynamic startup companies in the US developing naturally derived biomaterials, is a stark embodiment of our slogan “A kind of silk you did not expect”.
To start with an example of a kind of silk you would not have imagined before, just think that it is now possible to use silk in padding and filling, thanks to its properties that remained largely unknown until now. A new visionary look builds upon the tradition of our 120 years of experience in silk production. It allows us to explore fresh paths in this field and turn the craft of making silk — which has always been a synonym of luxury — into a laboratory for testing innovative ideas.
T.Silk/Cosetex staff had a chance to meet in person Livio Valenti, Vaxess co-founder who was included in the Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in 2014, in Science&Healthcare category,
We share and spread knowledge in the industry, based on our areas of expertise:
- Various silk quality grades and performance capabilities of discontinuous fibre.
- Different typologies of silk based on its geographical origin and characteristics of worms.
- Varying percentage of raw fibre, distribution of the latter and impact on quality; feasible levels of impurity.
- Prerequisites for availability of the material in line with the quality standards;
- Preferred methods of storage and stock-keeping;
- Developing product traceability system in accordance with the quality grade.
- Types of transformation processes and their respective methodological characteristics.
- Selection of the most appropriate silk type for every case and expected result.
We have received acknowledgement and attestation of exceptional qualities of our silk, especially with regard to its deepest layers of chemical and molecular structure.
“We intend to use silk and silk fibroin, its principal protein, — Mr. Valenti told us, — to develop new technologies that would take advantage of unique structural and functional properties of this natural biomaterial. That would allow us to eventually develop innovative therapeutic and diagnostic products which, thanks to silk protein’s versatility, would help to release drugs and would be highly biocompatible. In the meantime they would not induce an immune response from the body, while being highly stable and flexible in its formula and administration, easily lubricated and injectable and could be reproduced without use of aggressive chemical solvents”.
Vaxess’ stabilization technology is based on the ability of silk matrices to encapsulate biological compounds and protect them from degradation due to thermal and other stresses. Research on vaccines led to discovering a possibility of radical change in current systems of cold chain distribution. From a logistic point of view, this allows to make medical products available in any part of the world, at any latitude and temperature
A kind of silk you would not imagine…..…..work in progress
*Livio Valenti studied economy and management of public administration and international institutions at Bocconi university in Milan. Received a master degree in Public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Completed Elective MBA in Strategy, Finance and Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School. He was also a Fellow at Fudan University school of Management in Shanghai7 In 2009-2011 Livio worked as economist at the UN, with special attention to South East Asia.
*Vaxess technologies was conceived during the Harvard Business School course “Commercializing Science”. It was founded in 2011, in 2012 became a winner of the President’s Challenge at Harvard, in Global health section. Later $3.75 million came from Norwich Ventures in the first tranche of the financing, as well as $1.5 million from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. In 2014 a number of academics became members of Vaxess’ Scientific advisory board. In 2015 the company won the first prize from Verizon Powerful Answers Award. In 2017 it received $6 million from Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to develop microneedle patch vaccines, followed by a Small Business Innovation Research Grant (SBIR) from the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIEHS).