Announced today, the majority stake leads on from Beiersdorf’s earlier investment in S-Biomedic back in 2018 as part of its corporate venture capital activities. Under the latest deal, S-Biomedic would continue to be managed as a standalone entity under Beiersdorf’s existing microbiome programme, complementing existing research activities.
“In the last few years, microbiome research has become one of the spotlight topics in science and offers unique starting points for breakthrough skin care innovations,” said Beiersdorf.
Managing the microbiome
Founded in 2014, S-Biomedic was dedicated to researching the balance of the skin’s microbiome and developing active ingredients for cosmetic products. The company’s technology selected natural probiotic strains able to influence host-microbiome symbiosis and microbiota population stability. Back in February 2020, Dutch specialty ingredients major Royal DSM signed an exclusive agreement with the Belgian startup to develop and commercialise actives using probiotic technology to treat acne.
This was an area Beiersdorf also said its majority stake acquisition would help advance – the field of acne treatment, a condition that occurred when the skin’s natural microbiome was out of balance.
Dr Gitta Neufang, senior VP of R&D at Beiersdorf, said the acquisition was certainly a strategic fit in terms of innovation and skin care research.
“Together with the pioneers of S-Biomedic, we are taking skin care to the next level and will foster the development of solutions for unmet consumer needs,” Neufang said.
Jörn Hendrik Reuter, manager of the Microbiome Accelerator division at Beiersdorf, added: “The advances of S-Biomedic in biomedical research complement our own efforts in this field and open the door to develop products that work in harmony with the natural skin processes.”
Reuter previously discussed his vision for the future of skin microbiome innovation and development during CosmeticsDesign-Europe’s Skin Microbiome webinar last year, which can still be watched in full, on-demand.
Veronika Oudova, CEO of S-Biomedic, said: “Our vision since 2014 when we started S-Biomedic has been to build and promote skin microbiome technologies and make them (…) the new frontier in skin health. I am very excited that together with the team we have achieved a very important milestone on that journey. By joining Beiersdorf, our novel approach has its path to consumers all over the world.”
Skin microbiome investment and focus
In October, this year, French-headquartered venture capital firm Seventure Partners said it would invest €300m in more than 20 cutting-edge companies next year, as part of a third wave of microbiome innovation funds – a move its CEO Isabelle Cremoux said aligned with interest and research activity in the field.
“The [microbiome] field has continuously gained momentum, not only in skin care but in all applications. Because, in fact, scientifically, more is being discovered in the microbiome and its role linking the microbiome composition to the immune system of a person, to the general health, and lots of diseases or health conditions,” Cremoux said.
Advances in technology, she said, had certainly driven many breakthroughs in the field thus far, and would likely continue to do so in the near future.