A new bioactive molecule from the Centella asiatica plant has been discovered by researchers at Sederma’s Instituto di Ricerche Biotecnologiche (IRB). According to IRB, the molecule, 4-malonil-3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (known as irbic acid), has always existed in Centella but at levels so low that its presence was indiscernible among the many other low level compounds existing in the plant. Through a proprietary method that stimulates plant cells to produce high levels of phytoactives, up to 1,000 times greater than traditional means, IRB has uncovered irbic acid, a plant compound with reportedly high collagen-protecting activity and greater antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits than other well-known plant molecules.
IRB worked in conjunction with the University of Bologna in Italy, which defined irbic acid’s chemical structure. IRB now holds a patent for this technology and Sederma has ongoing studies further elucidating additional activities and cosmetic benefits. This discovery illuminates just one of the many benefits that strategic use of plant cell culture allows an industry seeking more advanced solutions from nature.