Ground-breaking anti-aging discovery from Antarctic fish gets L’Oréal excited

By Andrew MCDOUGALL

- Last updated on GMT

Sirona Biochem scientists hard at work on the new anti-aging compound
Sirona Biochem scientists hard at work on the new anti-aging compound

Related tags: Temperature, Sirona biochem

Vancouver-based biotech firm Sirona Biochem has developed its latest secret to anti-aging from an unexpected place – Antarctic fish; and cosmetics companies are keen to adopt the new technology.

With four-fifths of visual aging being caused by cell death, the Canadian company is developing an anti-aging compound based on the naturally occurring antifreeze glycoproteins found in Antarctic fish, which protect the fish’s cells against the volatile Antarctic environment.

The outcome is a compound that protects skin cells from damage and has the potential to allow the cells to live longer, leaving people looking younger.

“This is such a ground-breaking science that L’Oreal filed a field of use patent on our first generation of the compound,”​ company CEO Neil Belenkie tells CosmeticsDesign.com USA.

Neil Belenkie
CEO Neil Belenkie reveals the new discovery to CosmeticsDesign.com USA

“They were so excited about the potential for this technology that they filed the patent with no additional testing.”

Previous obstacles

First discovered in the 1960s by Professor Professor Arthur DeVrie, the glycoproteins cannot be used in humans because of the amount of fish needed to make the active compound, and the difficulties of meeting market need for this technology.

Other obstacles are that the compound is unstable, having a 6 month maximum shelf life and must be stored at -20 degrees Celsius, whilst its protective properties are only against cold temperatures.

However, Sirona Biochem seems to have found the solution. Based on the naturally occurring glycoproteins, it has developed two generations of synthesized glycoproteins that are safe for human use.

Sirona solution

Belenkie explains that naturally occurring glycoproteins in antarctic fish have the ability to preserve cells, tissues and organs when exposed to environmental stressors and this can be adapted for anti-aging skin care and cosmetics.

“80% of visual aging is related to cell death; we believe our compounds can protect these skin cells from damage, allowing the cells to live longer,”​ he states.

“In a recent study, Sirona Biochem’s anti-aging compounds kept 95% of the protected skin cells alive for 7 days compared to the unprotected control group where only 8% of the cells were still alive after 7 days.”

Given the growing demand for scientifically proven anti-aging solutions and a ballooning market driven by aging baby boomers, there appears to be a big opportunity for this type of discovery in the industry.

The compound

The glycoprotein mimic does not have a commercial name at present as it will be introduced as a component of cosmetic product, leaving the option of naming the ingredient open to the licensers.

“As a chemistry pipeline company, we create the ingredient, and leave the branding to the global experts who will be licensing our glycoprotein compound,”​ explains Belenkie.

“Target applications would be in skin care and anti-aging. In our test findings, we have found that our compound protects against oxidative stress, maintains 100% viability of adult skin fibroblasts in moderate and cold temperatures (3-15 degrees celcius), and that it protects against UV-C rays.”

Sirona Biochem’s specialization of stabilizing compounds has permitted it to develop two generations of these synthesized glycoproteins.

Because they are synthesized in its Vancouver lab, no fish or parts of fish are used, and Sirona has been able to develop a much more stable compound that is based on the naturally occurring glycoproteins, but safe for human use.

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