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In the News

Helix BioMedix receives US patent for peptides

April 16 2008

By Simon Pitman

Breaking News on Cosmetics Formulation & Packaging - North America

Helix BioMedix says it has been issued with a US patent for more than eighty peptides for use in cosmetics and in skin care, a move that aims to strengthen the companies position in this category.

Patent number 7,354,903 was issued by the United States Patent and Trademarket office for the company's peptide applications and products, which are currently found in over 20 products that are marketed on a worldwide basis.

Those products include brands such as Fusion Beauty, Smashbox, Isomers, and B Kamins, which will soon also be joined by what the company says will prove to be numerous new product launches scheduled for the course of this year.

Targeting cosmetics and skin care
"The issuance of the patent is a key step in the protection of the intellectual property associated with our proprietary peptides, which is of critical importance to the company," stated R. Stephen Beatty, president and CEO.

"While our primary focus is dermatological theraputic development, this represents our first issued patent specifically targeting cosmetics and skin care applications, which is the direct result of our efforts to diversify our sequences as well as their bioactivites and application."

Beatty added that the company has also filed other patent applicaiton which will form part of the company's aim to expand its portfolio of bioactive peptides during the course of the next few years.

The company currently has a library of over 100,000 unique peptides with a broad range of uses, including wound healing agents and anti-aging agents for skin care products, together with anti-bacterial agents for oral care products.

Marketing agreement with Goldschmidt
Last September Helix BioMedix announced a marketing agreement with leading global ingredients supplier Goldschmidt Personal Care, a deal that reflects the growing importance of peptides in the cosmetics field.

The peptides themselves are made up of natural amino acids, and can stimulate a wide range of bioactivities, characteristics that Helix BioMedix feel explain their success as an emerging class of active ingredients.

The Washington-based company has developed a number of peptides that stimulate aspects of the skin's innate ability to regenerate, which they claim reduce fine lines around the eye area without the irritation often associated with certain retinoid based products.

Furthermore, the anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties of some of the peptides make them perfect as an ingredient in acne formulations and Helix BioMedix have developed a peptide that is present in a natural anti-acne system, formulated and marketed by Nature's Gate.

High demand for antiaging consumer products is driving a growing market for effective active ingredients

April 2 2008

By Cynthia Challener/Vermont

GRAYING BABY-boomers are not the only consumers eager to defend their looks from the ravages of time. Demand for cosmeceuticals that both prevent and repair damaged and aging skin is growing in most age segments, and with it, the market for antiaging active ingredients, as well as the variety of products in which they appear.

Indeed, by 2012, antiaging products will account for about one-quarter of the value of the global cosmetic skin care market, projects, accoreding to global market research firm Euromonitor International. In 2007, global sales of antiaging cosmetic products totaled $14.9bn (€9.4bn). "Antiaging has become the No. 1 beauty product claim in recent years," notes Alex Kirillov, global cosmetics and toiletries research manager.

Sun care, the only sector to achieve faster growth in 2007, owes much of its success to the trend as well, as the concept of photoaging has led consumers to view sunscreen as an essential step in the daily skin care regimen. Euromonitor also reports that antiaging properties have found their way into other beauty products, including color cosmetics, hair care, bath and shower products, fragrances and deodorants.

Television has had an impact as well. "Popular TV shows frequently mention skin care and cosmetic procedures," says Robin Carmichael, vice president of marketing and business development with Helix BioMedix, a US-based developer of bioactive peptides. "Antiaging skin care and injectable fillers are often part of show scripts, so they are now routine in the minds of consumers."

Cosmetics companies have done an excellent job of marketing their products as well. "Advertising is very pervasive today, and the message is reaching people who have the money to spend and can afford to take advantage of new technology," remarks Dr. Karen Burke, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, US.

"There is definitely a perception that technology exists today that can deliver real benefits," adds John Bailey, chief scientist for the US-based trade group Personal Care Products Council. "It comes down to having well-controlled, scientific studies that can address questions about efficacy in a way that is meaningful to actual product formulation and use," he continues.

In fact, consumers have become more skeptical about claims made for high-priced antiaging cosmetics. "Performance is a key driver for antiaging products, as consumers want to see the results promised by the marketing claims on the packaging," says Denise Gabriele, vice president of sales & marketing for Sederma, the active ingredients division of UK-based specialty chemical maker Croda.

The growing number of dermatologists' signature brands is one result. "Consumers seem to have a high level of trust in products that clearly have been developed with a doctor's input," notes Christine Saecker, global marketing manager for personal care actives at Netherlands-based DSM Nutritional Products.

The efficacy of actives can be measured in vitro using cell cultures (keratinocytes and fibroblasts) and gene expression, and in vivo in clinical studies, where, for example, wrinkle-depth reduction is determined by using silicone replicas and image analysis, according to Elzbieta Kasprzyk, senior lab manager at Finland-based Kemira Specialty.

Producers of traditional cosmetics also face increasing competition from wrinkle injection technology. This situation has led ingredient suppliers to continually seek innovative, highly active ingredients that can achieve somewhat similar results. For example, Germany-based Evonik Goldschmidt's HyaCare 50 very low molecular weight hyaluronic acid offers increased permeation through the skin. Anew Deep Crease by cosmetics giant Avon contains hyaluronic acid and is marketed by the company as an alternative to Botox injections.

Even with these challenges, global sales of antiaging cosmetic products are expected to grow to $21.3bn in 2012, according to Euromonitor. Much of this growth will be from cosmetic products based on natural and biologically derived ingredients.

In addition, products designed to protect the skin from both internal and external forces will experience growth. The trend is partly reflected in the increasing number of products designed for ingestion, such as antiaging waters and other drinks. "There is also demand now for global antiaging products that target all signs of aging in one formulation," notes Olga Gracioso, head of marketing & communication at Sederma.

Baby boomers are currently the largest segment of consumers interested in antiaging products. However, both older and younger consumers are expected to spend more money on such products. Prevention will receive more emphasis and attract younger buyers, while older consumers are becoming interested in products designed to nourish and condition (Dove Pro-Age), brighten (Prescriptive's Magic Illuminating Liquid Potion) and whiten (Clinique's Derma White) their skin. Evonik Goldschmidt's Skinmimics ingredient targets this age group.

The expanding market is also opening up opportunities for different types of antiaging products. There is a growing premium segment based on active ingredients such as gold and caviar (see Endpoint, page 54).

Market research firm Kline & Company places specialty actives used in personal care products into five categories, with both vitamins and proteins/peptides each accounting for 30% of the market, followed by botanicals, with 25% polysaccharides, with 12% and enzymes/coenzymes, with 3%. The total value of the worldwide market for antiaging active ingredients is estimated by Kline to be approximately $400m.

Vitamins and antioxidants are found in almost every antiaging formulation. The gold standard, according to Burke, is tretinoin, a vitamin A derivative that regenerates collagen lost over time and also stops further damage. US-based Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical's RENOVA, which contains tretinoin, is available by prescription only. However, studies published in 2007 reported that over-the-counter retinol-based lotions and moisturizers, if properly formulated and applied, can result in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

Antioxidants scavenge free radicals before they can damage the skin. The leading ingredients are vitamins C and E. "Each of these ingredients works to protect the skin from sun damage, but they are even more effective when used in combination," notes Burke.

Other antioxidants that have shown potential in laboratory studies include alpha-lipoic acid, the soy isoflavone genistein, selenium, the milk-thistle-derived flavonoid mixture known as silymarin and ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10). None of these has yet undergone rigorous studies to confirm effectiveness in products for human use.

Examples of vitamin ingredients include Stay-C 50 (vitamin C sodium ascorbyl phosphate) and ALL-Q plus (vitamin E in combination with Coenzyme Q10) from DSM Nutritional Products.

In 2007, much attention was focused on the coffee berry after two independent studies found that the extract significantly improved the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without allergic reactions or skin irritations. RevaleSkin by Stiefel Laboratories contains this ingredient.

Other products on the market containing antioxidants include C E Ferulic (SkinCeuticals), Super Line Preventor Xtreme (Prescriptives) and Vitamin + Energy Cocktail (LUMENE).

Peptides and proteins have attracted attention since Sederma's Matrixyl (palmitoyl pentapeptide-3, found in Olay Regenerist) was found in a US National Institutes of Health-backed study to stimulate collagen production in the skin. Some peptides can inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, thus keeping facial muscles relaxed. Other peptide formulations act like growth factors and stimulate turnover rates of skin cells similar to those found in young skin.

Essenskin, a new product from Sederma, targets those aged 60 and above who want to fortify and restructure thin and fragile skin. The product has undergone both in vitro and in vivo tests. Other products from the company include Venuceane (found in Clarins products) and Sterocare (used in antiaging Elisabeth Arden products). Sederma will soon launch Aqualance, an ingredient designed to fight skin dryness.

Helix BioMedix, a biopharmaceutical company, is also developing novel bioactive peptides for cosmeceuticals. Its leading products, Oligopeptide-10 (for acne care) and Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14, (for antiaging skin repair) have undergone numerous studies, including in vitro and human tests, in order to demonstrate their effectiveness, according to Carmichael. The company's peptides can be found in cosmetic products manufactured by DermaVentures, FusionBeauty, smashbox, Johnston & Murphy, Sally Beauty and many others.

From PENTAPHARM, now part of DSM Nutritional Products, Syn -COLL increases collagen synthesis and Syn -AKE targets muscle relaxation, according to Saecker. The newest antiaging ingredient from DSM is BeauActive MTP, based on unique milk-derived peptides produced by patented enzymes with proven antiwrinkle effects.

Laboratoires Serobiologiques (LS), the active ingredient business of Cognis Care Chemicals, has developed two new pure tetrapeptides - DERMICAN (acetyl tetrapeptide-9) and SYNiorage (acetyl tetrapeptide-11) - designed to cause the synthesis of lumican and syndecan-1, two proteoglycans that counteract the aging process in the skin, and which have been demonstrated to decrease with aging.

Both new products have been proven effective through clinical testing, according to LS strategic marketing manager Anne Laurie Rodrigues. "For a comprehensive antiage approach, the combination of SYNiorage, specific for the epidermis, with DERMICAN, which specifically targets aging of the dermis, is an optimal choice of ingredients," she asserts.

Hundreds of other ingredients are currently used in antiaging formulations. Botanicals are attracting significant attention. "Innovative naturals have invaded the cosmeceuticals scene and found their way into well-known branded cosmetics," observes Lakshmi Prakash, vice president of innovation & business development with Sabinsa, an Ayurvedic herbal extract and specialty fine chemicals firm.

One challenge for these ingredients is the ability to formulate them so that the appearance, texture and general acceptability of conventional cosmetic compositions is not negatively affected. Highly colored or gritty plant extracts, for example, need to be blended seamlessly into "milky" or clear creams, lotions and gels. "Careful application-oriented research is necessary to facilitate the development of innovative extracts from traditionally used botanicals," Prakash comments.

US phytonutrients manufacturer Sabinsa has done so with tetrahydrocurcuminoids, antioxidants found in the yellow extract of tumeric that prevent the formation of free radicals, quench preformed radicals and also lighten skin tone.

Germany-based fragrances and flavors firm Symrise says it offers a range of "efficacy-proven active cosmetic ingredients" based on natural materials. Some are lipids and peptides, while others are botanicals. The Symrise Actipone range, which covers a variety of natural, largely standardized plant extracts from Asia, Europe and Africa, was introduced in response to demand for effective natural ingredients. "The goal at Symrise is to continue expanding the Actipone product line, tapping new sources of natural raw materials that can be developed into patentable extracts and conducting screening tests on plant-based active agents already in the company's repertoire in the hopes of finding additional beneficial effects," says Cornelia Mueller, global product manager for cosmetic ingredients.

Natural actives offered by DSM/PENTAPHARM include Alp Sebum and Nectapure SP, as well as extracts of plants such as edelweiss, elderberry or scutellaria. When considering the potential of such natural ingredients for cosmetic use, Saecker says, DSM evaluates the effects reported for traditional and ancient uses.

Delivery of the active ingredient is critical to performance. Kemira Specialty, for example, offers skin delivery technologies that encapsulate actives and enhance their penetration into the skin. "Our Stableact system is designed to encapsulate hydrophilic actives, while KemSpheres technology is ideal for lipophilic actives," says Kasprzyk. The company has demonstrated their performance using standard skin strip tests. PREVAGE by Elizabeth Arden is one example of a consumer product containing Kemira technology.

Source: ICB