By GREGORY ZELLER
Applied DNA Sciences wants to say one word to you. Just one word.
After checking cotton, leather, European luxury cars, Department of Defense microcircuits and other diverse, often critical verticals off its to-do list, the Stony Brook-based provider of DNA-focused supply chain, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technologies has signed a multi-year licensing deal with global textile manufacturer GHCL Ltd., focused specifically on polyethylene terephthalate.
Known best by its stage name, PET is a common thermoplastic polymer resin – it becomes plastic when heated, it hardens when cooled and it cannot repeat the process – used in clothing, manufacturing processes, food and beverage containers and other diverse applications.
India-based GHCL uses PET, and recycled PET, in bed sheets, pillowcases and shams sold throughout the world, including online in the United States – and will tap into Applied DNA’s product-genotyping and product-authentication solutions to secure its supply line.
Noting a desire to “supply our customers with source-verified recycled products,” GHCL business officer Neeraj Jalan praised Applied DNA’s CertainT platform and “textile molecular tagging” technology.
“In these uncertain times, our customers deserve and expect certainty,” Jalan said in a statement. “As the need for sustainable and recyclable textiles continues to increase in demand from our customers, we want to offer products that provide true traceability that goes beyond a paper document.”
Terms of the multi-year licensing agreement were not disclosed, though GHCL has additionally licensed Applied DNA’s CertainT trademark for promotional, marketing and sales purposes – and the deal “provides for guaranteed minimum annual revenues [and] trademark licensing royalties to Applied DNA,” according to the Stony Brook company.
Money aside, the molecular tagging and forensic tracking of the Indian manufacturer’s PET – a mainstay of polyester products and the most widely recycled plastic in the world, used commonly in water bottles – was a source-to-shelf challenge perfectly suited to Applied DNA’s niche expertise, according to President and CEO James Hayward.
“The CertainT platform will help GHCL produce innovative products, utilizing an efficient and trusted traceability system with a fair return,” Hayward said Tuesday.
The CEO was also pleased with the trademark-licensing arrangement, which helps CertainT and Applied DNA build name recognition and other market momentum.
“Differentiating their brand in the marketplace through use of our CertainT trademark will signify to consumers the products comply with our supply-chain platform,” Hayward noted. “We bring ‘CertainT’ in uncertain times, especially as many brands and retailers need to fulfil their sustainability goals by the year 2020.”
While its varied portfolio also involves chemicals and consumer products, GHCL is one of India’s leading home-textile manufacturers and is regarded as a bed-linen innovator, with particular inventiveness regarding bedsheets – including its proprietary Celliant line, which claims to help users fall asleep 15 minutes faster. The company’s home textiles products are predominantly exported to the United States, Canada and Australia and across the European Union.
The new deal continues Applied DNA’s hot, and increasingly diverse, 2017. In June, the Stony Brook company inked a seven-figure contract extension with the Defense Department and announced a new research partnership with Aloe vera facial-cream specialist Lily of the Desert, while securing a $1.8 million private placement led by company executives and an unnamed “strategic investor.”
The second such private investment in as many years and the rest of the very busy month concluded a rapid-fire first half of the year, in which Applied DNA penetrated the in-vitro laboratory science market, inaugurated an international cotton club to monitor human trafficking in third-world countries and rounded out a superstar Advisory Board with veteran rainmakers including former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and former KeySpan and National Grid U.S. Chairman Bob Catell.
After a long string of quarterly misses, the company also recorded a 58 percent revenue spike in the second quarter of 2017 (ended March 31), marking its first year-over-year quarterly revenue increase in many moons. Applied DNA is slated to report its third-quarter results in August.