Applied DNA Sciences ships another synthetic fibre batch

DNA-based anti-counterfeiting firm Applied DNA Sciences has been boosted on the news it has delivered its third shipment of supply chain protection technology for the synthetic fibre market and is in discussions with other manufacturers.

The third shipment is against continuing purchase orders for the firm's molecular tags used to protect supply chains for the commonly produced polymer plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) man-made fibres (MMF), which is used in a variety of products from medical devices to automotive components and packaging and is known as polyester in textiles.

The news comes just days after APDN released its first quarter results for fiscal 2017, which revealed once again the company's battle to build consistent revenue growth.

It reported a 32 per cent drop in revenue to $903,000 compared with $1.32m in the first quarter of 2016, while the net loss for the quarter swelled to $4m or $0.16 per share, compared with a net loss of $2.9m, or $0.13 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. The decrease in revenue has been attributed to the expiry of two government contracts last quarter.

Dr James Hayward, president and chief executive of APDN, said the delivery of the third shipment reflected the firm's efforts to expand market awareness and drive adoption of DNA anti-counterfeiting and authentication solutions.

"This purchase order highlights continued execution on our strategy to diversify our revenue stream and improve revenue predictability on an annual basis," he said.

In June 2016, APDN announced the deployment of molecular tags in synthetic fibres during early pilots, which were deemed successful. The company is already established in the cotton fibers market, where it has tagged approximately 150 million pounds.

According to the 2015 Chemical Economics Handbook, the market for synthetic fibres is roughly three times the size of the market for cotton.

MeiLin Wan, APDN's vice president for textiles said: "Success with one class of MMFs speeds our time-to-market in other synthetic categories." The company says contract discussions with other MMF segment manufacturers have been accelerated and it plans to productise several polymer families in 2017.

The firm's molecular tag technology uses the production of specific DNA sequences using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which can be used to identify, tag, authenticate and track and trace products. SigNature DNA forms the basis of the firm's products and is based on plant DNA. Security and authentication solutions include SigNature T and fiberTyping for textiles and apparel, DNAnet for anti-theft and loss prevention, and digitalDNA for track and trace.

"Molecular tags can be used to track high-quality and high-performance grades of PET, where the specifications are demanding," Hayward said. "Unlike paper or electronic certificates, these 'molecular certificates' carry the identifying unalterable information in or on the product, thereby providing assurances to governments, and consumers alike." Recycled PET, for instance, which is becoming more widely adopted, can be verified by the molecular certificate infused within the polymer after the recycling process.

In December, the company announced it will provide its SigNature T DNA products and services platform to empower textile supply chain security for one of the largest US-based retailers over an extended multi-year period.

APDN is also working to protect automobiles in Scandinavia and is looking to move into the pharmaceutical market with a DNA-labelled ink for pharmaceutical ingredients and packaging.

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