The Krafts Are Getting into the Skin Care Business

The Kraft Group has invested in Boston-based Silk Therapeutics.

Photo by Olga Khvan

Photo by Olga Khvan

The Kraft Group is known for owning and/or investing in numerous business ventures: paper products, real estate development, an MLS soccer team, and, of course, their most popular holding, the reigning Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. But now, the Foxboro-based privately-owned, family-operated company that employs more than 5,000 people can add another business to their investment portfolio: skin care.

Last March, Greg Altman, a Tufts grad, cofounded a unique skin care line that uses silk protein to deliver beautifying ingredients like vitamin C to the skin. He told me back in June that his company—then called PurePro C, now called Silk Therapeutics—creates products comprised of the fiber protein of the Bombyx mori silkworm, which is imported from Japan. These products can deliver molecules like vitamin C in their active form directly to the skin without the need for synthetic additives or the addition of harsh chemical preservatives. Silk, Altman said, could one day replace the chemical fillers and preservatives in cosmetics.

It seems that The Kraft Group agrees. On Wednesday, the company announced that it is investing in the Silk Therapeutics and that Daniel A. Kraft, executive vice president of The Kraft Group, is joining Silk Therapeutics’ board of directors.

“Our main goal for this brand is ‘beauty without consequence’ and to support the most vulnerable segments of our population,” says Altman, who is also the company’s CEO. “It’s for the masses, but the real goal is to provide something that women undergoing chemotherapy can use, or that pregnant or breastfeeding women can use. For someone undergoing the rigors and trials of chemo, we want to be able to provide them a luxurious and safe skin care product to use. People have been really getting behind us about trying to do something based on science that brings silk and vitamin C to the skin without any additives.”

Altman, a biomedical engineer, is no stranger to silk-based technology. He and his team at Tufts patented the technology and received FDA approval for a biocompatible and biodegradable silk protein matrix. “Basically, it’s just silk fibers that we purify and can then be implanted into the human body to help reconstruct tissue,” he says. “We developed it to also work for the knee and rotator cuff repair. But it turns out, the same mechanics necessary to repair a rotator cuff are the same requirements that can also help in breast reconstruction after mastectomy. The same way we would repair a tendon in a shoulder we could use use the silk protein matrix to repair breast tissue.”

Currently, the company offers serums, moisturizers, eye creams, and other skin products. According to a statement by Silk Therpeutics representatives, this is how the money will be spent:

Silk Therapeutics will apply this new capital to support the launch of its clean, luxurious skincare line with initial rollout in the northeast and expanded efforts nationally, as well as to market the company’s professional line to the med-derm and spa communities. Silk Therapeutics will further the development of its patented natural silk technology in new markets beyond skincare, where the unique performance and purity of silk can enhance the ways in which we treat skin and care for the human body.

Silk Therapeutics is also currently developing an ultrasensitive skincare line designed as a natural, safe option for those with extremely sensitive skin, for conditions such as eczema, and for oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, to heal, soothe and restore damaged and inflamed skin.

“We seek to support companies with great business potential, a keen focus on quality and their customer, and a management team with integrity and vision for the future. Silk Therapeutics is just that company,” Daniel Kraft said in a statement. “Silk Therapeutics is more than a skincare line. It is a healthcare company, with great potential to improve the health and wellbeing of its customers. Silk Therapeutics’ goal of creating a line of products safe enough for patients undergoing cancer treatment immediately resonated with my family.”