Build a solid foundation in science, formulation and product development—find out more!
Most Popular in:
Fishing for Ideas at Informex USA 2012
By: Rachel L. Grabenhofer
Posted: March 1, 2012
page 5 of 6
Perhaps the most obvious connection between the cosmetics and personal care industry and the specialty chemicals industries is within the realm of active topical ingredients, which is why the organizers added cosmeceuticals to the breakfast briefing panels. Interestingly, in a discussion on the way to the event, the CEO of one API told me, “This show is mostly focused on APIs, and with these companies being so tied up in regulatory tape, you’ll be lucky to get a word in with them edgewise.” To which I countered that while stringent regulations tie the hands of product developers and slow the speed to market, several topical pharma product developers are turning toward the cosmetics industry. He thought this was an interesting observation; in fact, he attended the cosmeceuticals session the next day.
The cosmeceuticals session was moderated by myself, Rachel Grabenhofer, editor of Cosmetics & Toiletries, and featured John Gordon of Alion Science and Technology, Romesh Kumar of Clariant, Robert Lochhead of the University of Southern Mississippi, and Marc Cornell of ChemAid Labs. Gordon presented an assay for the detection of endocrine disruptors, which are especially a concern in sunscreens, whereas Kumar discussed pigments, in the sense of their durability and stability in household paints, although pigments obviously can apply in color cosmetics.
The headlines in the Feb. 16 Informex show daily covering this session read, “Cosmetics Morphing to Pharmaceuticals?”—a frightening proclamation to most cosmetic manufacturers. However, as Lochhead stated during his presentation, “Consumers are now demanding cosmetics that also physically change the body.” He added that while such products must be marketed carefully, they do in fact act on a topical pharmaceutical level.
Lochhead’s presentation covered innovations on the horizon based on today’s capabilities to tailor-make molecules, noting techniques including atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and reversible addition−fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization, gene therapy to treat skin, dendrimer technologies, nanoparticles and “click” chemistry. According to Lochhead, click chemistry is “a very old chemistry using safe, reproducible chemical reactions to ‘click’ molecules onto things, including each other.” Considering the application of this technology with cysteine SS crosslinks, he proposed “a conditioner of the future that could click onto hair,” which could be developed within as soon as ten years.
Lochhead ended the discussion with the statement that nano-engineering is what industry is now doing, thus new experts are needed in this area. “We need a new breed of formulating scientists who can molecular engineer,” he said, which means educating them, the government, politicians and the public about the great potential of these technologies. Responding to this concept of the drug/cosmetic interface and regulation, he added “[Cosmetics and personal care is] one of the fastest moving industries on the earth and FDA regulation would slow us down. We need to do things faster, which can be accomplished through combinatorial approaches and high throughput formulation.”