Multi-million skin tech funding, Walgreens keeps global brands, category evolution
Skincare technology is gaining ground, with one company receiving a multi-million dollar investment in ingredient enhancement and another pioneering a new way to think of the anti-ageing category. Women in Science are celebrated with this year’s recipients announced. New findings see one haircare product banned by Nigeria’s FDA agency.
In our bi-weekly cosmetics and personal care round-up, we delve into the latest industry updates, trends and launches around the globe.
Evolved by Nature raises $120 million to grow silk technology
Biotechnology company, Evolved by Nature, closed its Series C financing, worth $120 million (€115 mn), on 30th June 2022. The funding round, led by Teachers’ Venture Group (TVG), aims to advance the launch of the company’s skin barrier-enhancing ingredients.
The company is formulating a range of proprietary molecules, named Activated Silk, using natural silk protein. Designed for personal care products, the activated silk technology will be applied to industry formulations to act as natural replacements for fossil fuel derivatives and synthetic ingredients. Evolved by Nature will also explore efficacious therapeutics that improve the skin and offer treatment capabilities for typically overlooked conditions.
With a focus on regenerative medicine and skincare solutions, the funding round coincides with the company’s opening of its manufacturing facility, which plans to increase production volumes of activated silk to 900 metric tonnes per year.
“We’ve crossed a critical planetary boundary. Overuse of fossil fuel-derived petrochemicals has altered the biochemistry of the human body and the planet’s life support systems,” said Dr Greg Altman, CEO and Co-Founder of Evolved By Nature. “With TVG’s support, we can now reimagine new therapeutics and global supply chains that foster healthier relationships between industries and ecosystems, focusing first on skin treatments,” added Altman.
New skincare brand strives to deliver “category-changing anti-ageing”
Launched in 2022, Clinical+ Skin is the latest skincare name on the market that seeks to revolutionise the category. Pursuing medical research, proven results and premium skincare, the brand has based its range around its single hero ingredient, polypeptide firming serum.
The ingredient has been curated using a combination of multitasking peptides, cosmetic growth factor analogues, lipids, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. By harnessing a blend of active ingredients, the brand’s serum aims to tackle sagging skin and subsequently provide a “category-changing anti-ageing” product.
Positioning itself in the luxury skincare space, Clinical+ Skin’s skincare line will contain a portfolio of formulas designed to rejuvenate the skin effectively minus any skin irritation. All of Clinical+ Skin’s products include a proprietary blend of speciality ingredients referred to as A.C.E. Technology. The technology is made up of antioxidants, biomimetic ceramides and a natural enzyme, the brand states.
The new skincare entrant’s serum was tested in a 12-week double-blind study. Conducted by an independent body to validate its efficacy and safety, the research study identified a significant improvement in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and firmness, the company reports, in as soon as four weeks of use, with those results continuing to increase over the course of the study.
Results indicated that after three months of regular use the serum improved hydration by 77.4%, improved firmness and elasticity by 29.7% and improved the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by 22.5%.
Walgreens keeps Boots and No7 Beauty
Leading healthcare, retail and pharmacy group, Walgreens Boots Alliance, will retain its Boots and No7 Beauty businesses under its existing operations. Walgreens announced its decision on 28th June 2022, following a review that started in January.
With the company’s strategic direction under analysis since the beginning of the year, 2022 has seen the future of two of the healthcare conglomerate’s leading businesses under question.
Although Walgreens had engaged in discussions with several parties and received considerable interest from prospective buyers, the significant changes to the global financial markets impacted the availability of financing. As a result, Walgreens revealed that no third party has been able to provide a financial offer that reflects the high potential value of both businesses. Subsequently, Walgreen’s focus will be on generating additional growth and profitability for Boots and No7 Beauty.
The news that both businesses have achieved strong performance and growth, surpassing anticipated results during a challenging and uncertain landscape, supported Walgreen’s decision to keep these businesses under its umbrella.
“We have now completed a thorough review of Boots and No7 Beauty Company, with the outcome reflecting rapidly evolving and challenging financial market conditions beyond our control,” said Rosalind Brewer, CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance.
“The Board and I remain confident that Boots and No7 Beauty Company hold strong fundamental value, and longer term, we will stay open to all opportunities to maximise shareholder value for these businesses and across our company,” shared Brewer.
UNESCO and L’Oréal Foundation unveil winners of Women in Science award
The United Nations specialised agency, UNESCO, and the corporate foundation of the L’Oréal Group, the L’Oréal Foundation, have announced the 2022 recipients of its Women in Science award.
The duo’s long-standing Women in Science award is geared toward promoting women in science to help make them more visible and their talent known and to also inspire future generations to enter science, help accelerate their careers and overcome barriers they may face.
Referring to results from UNESCO’s latest Science Report published in June 2021, the number of women seeking a career in science is increasing, but not fast enough, as it reports that just over a third of researchers around the globe are women and only 4% of Nobel science prize awards have been given to women. In technology and artificial intelligence (AI), gender inequalities are more notable, with only 22% of women working in these fields.
This year, the awards honours, which take place annually, celebrated its 24th Women in Science International Awards in the life sciences and the environment category. UNESCO and the L’Oréal Foundation’s five 2022 laureates were selected by an independent jury led by Professor Brigitte Kieffer, laureate of the 2014 L’Oréal-UNESCO Award.
Women in Science celebrates five distinguished women scientists from five world regions. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Professor María Guadalupe Guzmán Tirado took home the award for her work in infectious diseases. Professor Katalin Karikó was named the North American recipient for her contribution to biochemistry. In Asia and the Pacific, Professor Hailan HU was announced as the region’s winner for her work in neuroscience. Professor Agnès Binagwaho was awarded the prestigious accolade for improving public health in Africa and the Arab States. In Europe, the award was given to Professor Ángela Nieto for her dedication and achievements in embryology.
“Giving space to women in the sciences is important for equality which benefits humanity, as demonstrated by the laureates of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science,” says Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO. “Their example encourages girls and women everywhere to undertake scientific careers,” expressed Azoulay.
Nigeria bans placentyne hair lotion
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria has banned the Placentyne Hair Lotion cosmetic product. The ban comes after the country’s agency received safety information from the European Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products, NAFDAC states in public alert no.0033/2022.
The European Rapid Alert System was set up in 2003 by the European Commission to ensure that information about dangerous non-food products, such as cosmetics items that are withdrawn and/or recalled, is communicated to Member States.
The cosmetic product, Placentyne Hair Lotion, has been banned by NAFDAC for containing a mixture of Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone (MCI and MI) preservatives, which are not allowed in leave-on cosmetics formulations. NAFDAC states that MCI and MI, common preservatives typically found in liquid personal care products, have been associated with allergic reactions, lung toxicity and potential neurotoxicity.
Placentyne Hair Lotion is sold in a 12ampoules x 10ml cardboard box manufactured by an Italian company, Linea Italiana di Benazzi Anna & SAS. NAFDAC recommends that importers, distributors, retailers, healthcare providers and consumers immediately stop the product’s importation, distribution, sale and use. In addition, it asks that healthcare professionals, consumers and patients report adverse events related to the use of Placentyne Hair Lotion to their nearest NAFDAC office.
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