RITA Corp., Avicena: Blurring Cosmetic/Pharma Lines?

Avicena Group Inc., a late-stage biotechnology company that develops central nervous system therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases as well as dermaceutical products, announced it has signed an exclusive worldwide distribution agreement with RITA Corp., a supplier of specialty chemicals to the personal care industry. The agreement gives RITA global rights to certain Avicena compounds for distribution in the personal care industry.

"RITA is highly regarded as a leading, global supplier of specialty chemicals to the cosmetic and personal care industries," said Belinda Tsao-Nivaggioli, PhD, CEO of Avicena, in a press statement. "This makes RITA an ideal partner to distribute our proprietary dermaceutical ingredients and to significantly expand our existing dermaceutical business."

Avicena's dermaceutical compounds incorporate the company's patented cell-nourishing technology that reportedly promotes optimal cellular regeneration and cellular protection, as well as antiaging skin benefits.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to distribute Avicena's scientifically based skin care ingredients," said Brian Goode, president of RITA. "The industry continues to shift toward ingredients that are backed by proven science and achieve measurable skin benefits. Avicena's products fit well into this growing trend."

In an industry where competition is growing fierce, moves like this between pharma and cosmetic companies, as recognized above by Goode, are becoming more commonplace since securing and developing technologies to create druglike benefits in cosmetics, backed with scientific proof, gives companies an edge in reaching consumers. Why? Because the products are proven efficient in delivering the prescribed effects and these changes are noticeable to consumers. 

Is cosmetic innovation blurring the lines with pharmaceuticals? Physiologically, maybe yes. It appears that many actives are on the verge, if not already, of interacting with the body on a level that drugs do. But as long as the intent, as prescribed by the product label, is cosmetic, then no, the line is still clearly present. Walking that fine line takes talent and careful positioning of the product.

-Rachel Chapman, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine

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