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Mass customization and personalization news
2005-06-17 - Newport Beach, CA, USA: At the same time as one personalized cosmetics enterprise, Reflect.com, is closing its doors, another is announcing a significant commitment to cosmetics that are personalized not so much to individual taste as to individual genetics. Dermacia Inc. has formed a biomedical research and development subsidiary, National Genecular Institute, Inc., to focus on new technologies related to specific genes affecting the skin and skin aging. Dermacia is capitalizing on its research to date for active ingredients and complexes for customized skin care products and pharmaceuticals based on a consumer's individual DNA. The Company's technology allows products to be manufactured in which proprietary ingredients and complexes are precisely matched to each customer's SkinPrint(TM).
In making the announcement, Matt Nicosia, Dermacia's chief executive officer and co-founder, also announced that noted molecular and cell biologist and research scientist Dr. Tannin Fuja will direct all scientific research for National Genecular Institute, Inc.
"We strongly believe that a focused research effort in this area will accelerate the introduction of more revolutionary products and will usher in the next generation of cosmeceuticals and skin care - where each person can get custom made, individualized products that are targeted only at their own skin's characteristics and susceptibilities, such as sun sensitivity, tendency to form wrinkles, predisposition to early aging or skin cancers, etc.," Nicosia stated. "In the near future, we expect each customer will be able to take a simple, self administered swab of their inner cheek, return it to National Genecular Institute, and within days receive customized products for them based on their personal DNA."
Nicosia added: "This is a natural extension of Dermacia's cosmeceutical business. We already produce specialized products, using our groundbreaking breathable base technology and unmatched color and cover, combined with patent-pending proprietary ingredients and complexes that facilitate healing and permit the product to be applied directly on raw skin following a burn or surgery. Research at National Genecular Institute is in the areas of nanotechnology applications, molecular genetics of the skin, and skin diseases and conditions. We will be able to produce products that are so precisely matched to the individual's skin needs as to address even genetic skin factors of which the customer is unaware because the associated skin problems have not yet manifested themselves. This will give consumers the confidence that they are doing all they can for the health of their skin today, as well as applying the best available prevention for their particular skin problems of tomorrow."
Dermacia Inc., established in 2000, identified a major market void for cosmetics and skin care products combining color and coverage superior to that of traditional makeup brands with revolutionary breathable formulations and therapeutic properties and ingredients. The Company combines biotechnology, cosmeceuticals, cosmetics, nanotechnology and leading edge genetic science as the technology hub for skin care products marketed under the Lycogel(TM) name and a growing portfolio of other brands. Lycogel products, sold exclusively through medical professionals, are designed for post-plastic surgery cover and special camouflage applications, facilitating rapid healing of wounds and minimization of scarring.
The Company coined the term "Genecular" to refer to the emerging, leading edge science of functional human genetic research at the molecular level. Its mission is to facilitate biomedical research that is pursuing advances in identifying human genetic factors affecting the skin and formulating products and therapies to target issues specific to the individual customer, both for prevention and treatment. NGI is studying the effects of both intrinsic (genetic background) and extrinsic (environmental impact) molecular components as they relate to skin characteristics and aging. In addition to Dermacia's support and majority ownership of NGI, it is anticipated that many of NGI's future research and development projects will be funded by public or private grants as new promising areas are identified. NGI will also contract to perform research and validation services for third parties as an additional revenue source.
"We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Fuja spearhead this effort for the Company, with our emerging SkinPrint(TM) gene mapping technology as a platform from which to develop and market new individualized topical creams, sprays and other products, as well as customized therapeutic regimens," Nicosia said. "This is a vast new market - both in terms of filling a true void for consumers and in economic potential for pioneering companies like Dermacia and National Genecular Institute."
Dr. Fuja, an accomplished molecular geneticist, comes to NGI from the University of Iowa, where he has served as head of the Molecular and Cell Biology Group of the National Center for Voice and Speech. He holds a PhD in biological sciences with emphasis on molecular cancer genetics and stem cell biology from the University of California, Irvine, and a B.S. degree in microbiology from Brigham Young University. Among his numerous honors, fellowships and presentations, Dr. Fuja received a certification in Human Research Ethics from the University of Washington.
Dermacia recently announced the introduction of a new line of specialized cosmeceutical products designed for a mass worldwide market, augmenting its existing Lycogel(TM) line of camouflage makeup and other cosmeceuticals designed for post-surgery, post-treatment and dermatological conditions. The term "cosmeceutical" denotes the rapidly growing market for cosmetics and skin care products formulated to provide therapeutic benefits and active ingredients to the user in addition to color and coverage.