Seevix was founded in 2014 after more than a decade of research at the Hebrew University. The goal of Seevix is to copy the natural production of spider silk to create high performance products and materials, with an initial focus on materials for the medical industry. Their first product was scaffolding for tissue regeneration.
Seevix has been funded in large part by private investors, but has also received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. In May 2020, Asics Ventures invested in SVX, the spider silk fiber produced by Seevix, for sporting goods. Seevix works with companies in the aerospace, automotive, 3D printing, and cosmetics industries, among others, to create or reinforce materials using SVX.
SVX fibers have all the characteristics of spider silk, including strength, elasticity, and durability and are also biodegradable. These fibers can be used on their own or integrated into other composite materials.
Seevix creates SVX by inserting the DNA for spider silk protein into bacteria and allowing the bacteria to grow the protein via precision fermentation. According to a May 2018 interview with Seevix’s CEO Shlomzion Shen, Seevix can make the silk proteins self assemble without chemical inducement (https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3738325,00.html). SVX fibers are therefore stronger and lighter than other fermented silk fibers.
Using silkworms to produce silk is tremendously water intensive. Creating silk fibers via fermentation very likely uses far less water and is potentially better for the environment in land use, chemical use, and lack of biological waste. Producing silk fibers via fermentation is clearly better for the more than 4.5 trillion silkworms killed yearly. MII will update this profile after we receive more information from Seevix.
SVX fibers would presumably have the same properties and characteristics as silk produced by spiders.
Seevix is currently using SVX primarily to make better composites and materials for the medical industry. MII will follow the development of sporting goods in the partnership with ASICS.