by: PnP Biopharm
For a long time, people desired to prolong their youth, and this desire increases over time as human life expectancy increases. That is why the demand for anti-aging products in the cosmetic industry is always high and numerous products have been constantly developed and upgraded.
Then what exactly is aging and why does this occur?
In the human body, there are about 200 different types of cells and each cell is specialized to perform a particular function. Aging occurs when more cells lose their ability to divide than the cells actively proliferate because this leads to an overall decrease in cell number and activity. One of the good examples of this aging process is wrinkle formation. A fibroblast is a type of cell that produces collagen and elastin, the components that are important for skin elasticity. As skin ages, fibroblasts decrease in number so less collagen and elastin are produced, this leads to a wrinkle formation. Another common aging sign is hair greying, which is also caused by decreasing melanocytes and melanin production. From these examples, it is understandable that it is important to keep cells actively dividing and functioning to delay aging. Surprisingly, there are already substances in the body that stimulate cells to divide – growth factors.
Growth Factors are proteins that act as chemical messengers between cells and play a role in cell proliferation and tissue regeneration. Due to their intrinsic functions, the amount of growth factors is related to aging. For example, skin aging typically starts at the age of 25 and this is also the age when growth factors start to gradually decrease. Therefore, it is important to sustain the level of growth factors to keep a youthful look and condition.
Today, various types of growth factors and their functions are discovered. Most of them are multifunctional as they perform several roles and are effective in various areas. EGF and bFGF are the most commonly used ingredients in the market due to their well-known cellular proliferation and stimulation effect, especially in the skin. PDGF is well-known for its proliferation and migration effect on connective tissue cells and it is also suggested to stimulate hyaluronan production by certain mesenchymal cells. There are growth factors showing remarkable effects in hair care. KGF1 and FGF5s, family members of bFGF, are involved in the regulation of the hair cycle, thus they can help to stimulate the regeneration of hairs. SCF is also suggested with its positive effect for hair greying since SCF is known to mediate melanocyte recruiting and melanin production.
Despite these attractive and proven effects, growth factors have certain limitations such as short half-life, which indicates lack of stability at room temperature and loss of activity after storing in various environments such as high temperature and aqueous condition. This is a serious weakness in the cosmetic industry because high temperatures may be required in the production process and costly refrigerated storage and delivery system may be required to keep their stability. To cope up with this limitation, PnP Biopharm Co., Ltd. has applied its protein engineering platform technology and successfully developed highly stable and long-acting growth factors.
PnP Biopharm was founded with the technology transferred from Dr. Shin, the expert in protein production and engineering field. From his experience, PnP Biopharm was able to develop various protein engineering technologies and Vexpress® Technology is one of them. It is the world’s first highly efficient and cost-competitive protein expression platform technology to make it possible to simplify complicated protein production processes for time and cost-saving. Another notable technology is Vexteel® Technology, which is used to develop highly active and thermostable proteins. In the cell proliferation test, the cells with PnP-GFs (Growth Factors) show two- to four-fold higher activity than wild-type GFs, which prove the higher stability of PnP-GFs.
The goal of PnP Biopharm is to make growth factors to be widely applied in various industries such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. For the cosmetic field, PnP Biopharm supplies about 25 growth factors and branded cosmetic products (Cellcurin and RUBYSCO) to fulfil people’s desire to keep their youthful and healthy look without age limitation. Also, PnP Biopharm is putting effort to develop growth factors as pharmaceuticals since the highly stable growth factors show remarkable wound healing effects in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, burns, etc.