Spintex Engineering Ltd. (Spintex) is a University of Oxford spinout, which has developed a unique technology for producing strong and pure ‘spider-like’ fibres. The fibres self-assemble from a liquid feedstock, with energy efficiency 1000x greater than synthetic polymers spinning. A combination of low temperatures and pressures, with water as the only by-product, positions Spintex as the first truly sustainable and scalable spinning process on the market.
Spintex will initially target medical devices and regenerative medicine, a market expected to reach $20.2B by 2022 (4.8% CAGR). Particularly for implantable devices, which includes a variety of advanced medical textile products, including surgical sutures, hernia repair fabrics and vascular prostheses, composed from fibres for specific biological environments. These products feature high unit prices, due to high efficacy and safety requirements. Further targeted markets, include technical and luxury fashion textiles.
Bolt Threads, Spiber and AMSilk, are our main competitors in artificially spun silk, with the first valued at $1B. Utilising expensive and complex genetic modification (GM) techniques to produce their fibres, has proved costly and challenging. With a focus on the apparel & textile market, to date no mass products have been released. Additionally, GM materials preclude their use for medical devices without long and expensive regulatory processes.
Spintex’s team is Mr. Alexander Greenhalgh (CEO), biologist and programmer, and Dr. Martin Frydrych (COO/CSO), material scientist and engineer. The team is further supported by the strong advisory board of Prof. Fritz Vollrath, Dr Chris Holland and Dr Rob Harrison, researchers and experts in the fields of silk, biomaterials and IP law, respectively.
Our business mode is the supply of high-quality silk fibres, meshes and knitted 3D structures, through direct partnerships and collaborations with large and medium sized corporations utilising high-quality textiles in their products. Spintex is in contact with several international business and academic collaborators for the application of our materials, with our low material costs allowing for large profit margins. Spintex will initiate further acquisitions of customers by attendance at several national and international conferences and further utilise the Public’s interest in bioinspired technologies, and the continued fascination in silks, to develop a robust public presence, through press releases, blogs and social media.
Initial costs will be greater than revenue as we develop the commercial machinery required for regulatory approvals and scale for commercial distribution. The main costs are salaries and capital, with far lower consumable costs. Revenue generation will initially be from small-scale sales and grant payments. By prioritising automation, we avoid growing labour costs, retaining a small, dedicated team. We estimate cash positivity by year 3, as commercial revenues grow and economics of scale decrease costs. Comparable medium sized companies in the medical textile market have revenues of $15-40mil per annum.
Spintex is raising a £500k to provide a two-year runway, developing scaled-up processes, and meeting regulatory requirements. A €100k Horizon 2020 grant has been paid to Spintex, to further commercialise our technology. Spintex is a finalist of the Saïd Business School’s seedfund, Pitchfest London, and the Panacea Stars accelerator.