At Applied DNA, They’re Really Getting Into Leather

By GREGORY ZELLER at A new international partnership backed by a host of well-known global brands will develop DNA-based security and product-authentication solutions for the leather industries. Stony Brook-based biotech Applied DNA Sciences this week announced a “research agreement” with BLC Leather Technology Centre, a UK-based R&D firm that delivers a range of services to leather suppliers, manufacturers and distributors in some 40 countries. Applied DNA President and CEO James Hayward was slated to officially introduce the program Thursday at the BLC-sponsored Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain conference in Hong Kong. Underwritten by several multinational brands – including German sneaker titan Puma and UK shoemaker C&J Clark International – the research agreement will create and test new product-authentication systems based on Applied DNA’s flagship SigNature DNA assay. The goal: DNA-based tracking protocols capable of providing “comprehensive and verifiable leather traceability from farm to finished products,” according to the Stony Brook company. That would mark a major milestone for the leather industries, according to BLC Leather Technology Centre Technical Director Victoria Addy, with a number of commercial and environmental benefits – including solutions to some “key issues currently facing brand owners.” “The ability to have a truly secure supply

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