New collaboration is creating skin and hair products with QTL tech to “address unsatisfied consumer demand”

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

The businesses said this is “the start of a major scientific breakthrough for the global skin and hair care industries”
The businesses said this is “the start of a major scientific breakthrough for the global skin and hair care industries”

Related tags Science Technology efficacy Innovation beauty tech biotech

Two tech businesses are working together to create scientifically validated skin and hair products that they say will reach beyond present technical capabilities and give new levels of efficacy…

Biotechnology business Phenotypeca is collaborating with skin care research technology company, Hexis Lab, to identify and manufacture new products that it said will deliver never-seen-before benefits to skin and hair.

Phenotypeca highlighted the increased demand for “validation of the capabilities claimed in skin care advertising” but flagged that “the complexity of the biology of skin, along with the regulation and safety requirements of such products, has proven a considerable barrier to the innovation of products that can meet this aspiration.”

The two companies are collaborating to address this unsatisfied consumer demand and believed this was “the start of a major scientific breakthrough for the global skin and hair care industries.”

Hexis Lab uses proprietary technology with AI techniques in its platform to study biological processes and predict the behaviour of compounds and ingredients in biological systems.

Meanwhile, Phenotypeca has a Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) technology platform that can manufacture unique recombinant proteins and peptides, which have proven to be beneficial for skin and hair (and were identified through its collaboration with Hexis Lab).  

The company said its QTL technology combines a proprietary breeding method with genomic-based screening to optimise strains for a given protein and the requirements of its market.

The new technology targets specific variations of critical locations in the genome – known as quantitative trait loci (QTL) – that functionally drive key aspects of protein manufacture. It explained that “these variations are like letters in an alphabet which QTL technology can uniquely identify to exploit the full power of biology, delivering an optimal protein and manufacturing method.”

New skin and hair care products with clear scientific benefits

The beauty and personal care products being created are initially in anti-ageing, deep hair conditioning and other new areas of hair care and skin care. These are set to be available to cosmetics brands for their own product formulations with relevant testing data that will clearly demonstrate the benefits when the testing and strain optimisation completes, which is expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2024 

CEO of Phenotypeca, Johnny Cordiner, highlighted the increased consumer demand for skin care and hair care products that reach beyond the present technical capabilities available.

“To fulfil such demand requires innovation to deliver products that meet such consumer aspirations,” he stated. “However, there are a range of technical challenges that have to be overcome to able to create such breakthrough product.”

He believed that his company’s collaboration with Hexis Lab “directly tackles these technical hurdles”, which will result in products “with capabilities that are new to the market that meet consumer aspirations” that are “validated by scientifically robust data in relevant assays.”

As the biology of skin and hair is highly complex, he said that to develop these new products, the systems within and between cells that drive its function have to be analysed and interpreted, along with the “nature of the faults that can lead to the aesthetics being below the aspirations of consumers”, such as damage or loss of balance caused by ageing, lifestyle choices and environmental factors.  

He explained that to interpret such complexity in its entirety is currently “beyond standard research methods,” but that the specialist complex systems analysis form of AI that HexisLab has can determine how to optimise improved homeostasis of skin and hair so that “AI predictive techniques then identify relevant peptides.”

“The QTL breeding and screening technology then uses the power of evolution with key genomic analysis to generate strains that can optimally manufacture the peptide, proteins or fragments which form the ingredients in the final formulations,” he continued.  

“Each skincare or haircare product will be designed to deliver a benefit to skin or hair that consumers want thereby filling a market demand.”

“For each benefit relevant biomarkers, assays and/or models will be chosen that demonstrate the materials developed have the beneficial impact on skin/hair that is claimed in the marketing materials,” he shared.

The materials are set to be manufactured and supplied either as a concentrate or in a final formulation. Or completely new products can also be developed for brands that wish to meet other market opportunities they have already identified.


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