For Applied DNA, a lucrative new passage to India

Place of business: As a major international hub for textiles, pharmaceuticals and other products, Ahmedabad was a logical location for Applied DNA's new Asia-Pacific laboratory.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Growing interest from Asian-Pacific textile manufacturers has prompted a Long Island biotech to establish a new testing laboratory in India.

Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences on Tuesday announced the opening of its new Central DNA Testing Laboratory in Ahmedabad, a city of 5.6 million residents in the Western India state of Gujarat, a manufacturing and distribution hub advancing cotton and other textiles, as well as fertilizers, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.

From there, the new, high-throughput facility will conduct sample testing and authentication and other forensic analyses in support of Applied DNA’s proliferating textile business in the Asia-Pacific region – with “expansion capability for other supply chains present in the region,” the company said, noting regional pharmaceutical and fertilizer manufacturers as likely clients.

Such international thrusts are becoming commonplace for Applied DNA, which in 2017 earned Global Organic Textile Standard certification – the highest international measurement standard for authenticating organic cotton supplies – and announced a new licensing agreement with Indian home-textile manufacturer and global distributor Himatsingka Group, among other international forays.

Selecting Ahmedabad – home of the world-renowned Calico Museum of Textiles – for its Asian-Pacific satellite laboratory was logical, according to President and CEO James Hayward, as “Gujarat has both strategic and practical importance for Applied DNA.”

Ila Lansky: Big chance for Applied DNA.

“Working closely with such India-based industry majors as Himatsingka and [GHCL Ltd.], we know Applied DNA’s value in enabling source-verified supplied chains and contributing to the steady growth and ensured protection of the circular economy,” Hayward said Tuesday. “It only makes sense for Applied DNA to have a facility where so many of our current and future partners are based.

“Our partnership with Himatsingka has proven remarkably successful, with uptake in the commercial ecosystem and endorsement by big-box retailers,” the CEO added. “Adoption of our technologies by other textile companies is growing.”

The new laboratory, scheduled to officially begin operations Feb. 15, will be directed by University of Maryland PhD Ila Lansky, a forensic scientist boasting more than a decade of professional forensic DNA experience, including a stint with the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Lansky, who has been Applied DNA’s New York-based forensics director for two years, will oversee all aspects of the satellite lab’s sample testing, authentication and reporting, the company said.

And with the Indian textile industry projected to reach $230 billion in annual revenues by 2023, and the regional pharma market expected to eclipse $550 billion in the next five years, the director notes a critical chance to “share our impeccable standards and operational protocols” with rapidly expanding marketplaces.

“This is an important opportunity for Applied DNA to bring our proven technologies to the heart of India’s textile industry,” Lansky said in a statement. “The laboratory will have the ability to process thousands of samples.”


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