Pending patent a cellulosic score for Applied DNA

Right on rayon: The global market for "cellulosic fibers" (like rayon) is skyrocketing, making supply-chain security paramount.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

A Stony Brook-based biotech on the leading edge of DNA-based product authentication is about to add another U.S. patent to its growing collection.

Applied DNA Sciences, which has raced to the front of the Polymerase Chain Reaction-based forensic-traceability field, has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its “Methods of Marking Cellulosic Products” – meaning its application to patent the technique has been allowed, and a fresh U.S. patent is likely to follow soon.

That would extend protections for the company’s DNA-based tag-and-trace CertainT platform into cellulosic fibers and materials – specifically, the tagging of such fibers with a nucleic acid, and later authentication of the acid-tagged materials with Applied DNA’s proprietary PCR-based detection techniques.

Demand for manmade, plant-based cellulosic fibers – rayon, for example – is on the rise. Applied DNA, which has long trumpeted global textile industries as a primary target for its innovative supply chain security protocols, estimates the cellulosic-fiber industry is growing at an annual rate of 9 percent, with the international market projected to surpass $39 billion within five years.

James Hayward: Deep roots in textiles.

Naturally, that puts a premium on supply-chain security.

And with a bevy of PCR-based patent applications pending across the European Union and in India, China and Hong Kong, the progress on its latest U.S. patent is welcome news indeed, according to Applied DNA Sciences President and Chief Executive Officer James Hayward, who noted “commercial-stage discussions with some of the world’s largest cellulosic fiber and materials manufacturers.”

“The newly allowed patent is a significant milestone for the company as it enhances our intellectual property portfolio and provides potential exclusivity for our CertainT platform,” Hayward said Tuesday, dubbing this a major advantage in “the ever-growing cellulosic fiber and materials market.”

“Since many manmade cellulosic materials, such as rayon, are derived from trees, traceability to assure brand claims for responsible sourcing and sustainable claims is important,” the CEO added.

The new patent allowance also adds to the Stony Brook biotech’s global momentum, which has been significantly bolstered in 2019 by a five-year traceability pact with German penmaker Montblanc-Simplo GMHB and a similar arrangement with a Canadian legalized-marijuana distributor, following a rush of DNA-security deals spanning Indian pharma-nutra manufacturers, Turkish fertilizer distributors, Pennsylvania pharmaceuticals makers and a bevy of other international industries.

But, like past deals with UK-based leather-goods manufacturers and India-based bed-linen conglomerates, the new U.S. patent allowance – and its global economic implications – speak directly to Applied DNA’s first and foremost vertical, those juicy textiles industries, covering just about everything manufactured with manmade fibers.

“We have successfully demonstrated the robust performance of the CertainT molecular tag in commercial production environments from fiber to fabric,” Hayward said. “The CertainT solution assists fiber producers in ensuring the authenticity and traceability of their branded fibers.”