A vitamin E-based delivery system, designed to enhance the penetration of ingredients, will be included in a cosmetics range formulated by New York company Metier Tribeca.
The TPM (tocopherol phosphate mixture) technology was designed by Australian biotechnology company Phosphagenics for use in topically applied pharmaceutical products.
Metier Tribeca’s new product range, set for release in early 2010, will be the first time the delivery system technology will be used in cosmetic and skin care products.
The technology involves using a mixture of different forms of phosphorylated vitamin E.
Phosphate does the trick
According to the company, adding a phosphate group to standard vitamin E makes the ingredient more soluble and stable as well as allowing it to form small vesicles in the formulation that can then help deliver other ingredients through the skin barrier.
The phosphorylated vitamin E is amphiphilic, meaning that it is soluble in both oil and water. As the skin has both lipid and aqueous domains this amphiphilic quality can help the molecule diffuse through the skin more efficiently, explained Phosphagenics vice president for research and development Paul Gavin.
In addition, the altered shape of the phosphorylated molecules disturbs the organization of the lipids in the skin, making them more fluid. This, according to Gavin, allows molecules that have been co-formulated with TPM to pass.
Amphiphilic improves formulation flexiblity
Furthermore, the amphiphilic nature of TPM molecules encourages the formation of small vesicles which can be used to transport other ingredients, explained Gavin.
“These small, ultra-deformable structures are able to entrap cosmetic ingredients of interest and enter the skin to deliver their cargo,” Gavin told CosmeticsDesign.
For Phosphagenics, the agreement with Metier Tribeca is a logical step to capitalize on the low entry costs of the cosmetics industry relative to the pharmaceutical market.
“The low cost of entry into the personal care industry and the speed in which products can be brought to the marketplace makes this very lucrative market extremely attractive,” the company said in a statement.
“Although revenues are not expected to be significant initially, this arrangement allows us to enter into the profitable personal care market while limiting our financial exposure and maintaining substantial financial upside.
“By partnering with Metier, it allows us to remain focused on our core business which is pharmaceutical development,” said chief operating officer Esra Ogru.