Croda teams up with Aquapharm to utilise marine microbes for skin care

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Marine biotechnology company Aquapharm Biodiscovery has signed a research and development agreement with specialty chemicals company Croda to develop a range of skin care products from marine microbes.

Having signed an initial research contract with Yorkshire-based Croda in 2008, the Scottish biotech firm has now struck a new deal with its cosmetics subsidiary Sederma, with plans for the first of these products to be released in 2013.

Croda Enterprise Technology president, Dr Keith Layden commented: “Aquapharm is one of the UK’s most promising biotech firms. Our collaboration thus far has led to many exciting new developments which promise to deliver novel and sustainable solutions for the personal care industry.”

“We are excited to now be able to bring all of that research to bear through our subsidiary, Sederma, which is dedicated to the development of active ingredients for the cosmetics industry.”

Crucial stage of development

For Aquapharm this is a crucial stage in the development of next generation cosmetics using its collection of micro-organisms.

Prof. Simon Best, CEO, told “Croda is now going ahead with 12 candidate products that have been extensively tested against pharmaceutical-type screens, all of which have been identified as having either anti-inflammatory or antioxidant qualities, or even both.”

The previous collaboration between the two companies was to conduct research to screen a large number of marine-sourced fermentation extracts in Aquapharm’s collection.

“This work was successful and led to the selection of the candidate products which will be taken further in the new collaboration which moves from the research to development and scale-up phase,”​ added Best.

“This deal puts us on course to see the first products launched to market as early as 2013. We can’t be sure that all 12 of the candidate products will reach the market-place but we can be sure that some exciting ones will so this is a major step forward for us,”​ he said.

Marine microbes catching the eye

And Best explained that the deal with Sederma shows that large companies are now taking stock of the ‘next generation’ cosmetics products such as marine microbes.

“Croda is one of the few companies in the world that takes natural ingredients like Aquapharm’s and makes them into products, which have the potential to then be taken up by companies such as Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal.”

Best added that Aquapharm expects to conclude further collaborations with personal care, nutrition and beverage partners in the near future.

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