Companies Team up for Genetic Skin Care
NORWALK, Conn. ," These days it seems as though just about everyone is looking for a "magic elixir" that promises to repair the ravages of age and provide eternal youth. Although one special potion might never be available to cure all aging-related woes, at least one skin-care ingredient line shows great potential.
Arch Personal Care Products L.P., a unit of Norwalk, Conn.-based Arch Chemicals Inc., announced its intention to begin collaborative efforts with Margate, N.J.-based GeneLink Inc. to market genetic skin-care formulations. The formulations contain active skin-care ingredients that can be linked to GeneLink's testing system for determining an individual's genetic skin characteristics.
The customizable formulations, which feature a family of active ingredients called "SNP-Derms" (single-nucleotide polymorphism-based), are designed to address some of the individual genetic characteristics that accelerate skin aging and wrinkling, as well as other skin-related oxidative stress deficiencies.
The companies began the skin-care collaboration in 2001. Vince Gruber, director of research and market development for South Plainfield, N.J.-based Arch Personal Care, said the research partnership actually sprung out of a visit to a local Dunkin Donuts.
"I was reading my local paper," said Gruber, "and the Courier News has a small snippet in it [saying] GeneLink had just filed patents covering the use of their genetic testing for skin. It caught my eye."
Based on what he read, Gruber got in touch with John DePhillipo, GeneLink's CEO, and ended up meeting with several company representatives and a few organizations with which GeneLink was collaborating at the time ," Orchid BioSciences and an SNP "hunter" from the University of Pennsylvania.
"We were very interested in Gene-Link's [technology] because we saw it as an opportunity for really customizing personal-care ingredients that focused ," almost like a laser beam ," on a person's [genetic makeup]," said Gruber. "We were coming to GeneLink with a battery of active ingredients that we already had provided, and many new ones that we were working on. We saw this GeneLink technology as a way for us to really focus our efforts on key areas in the skin."
Under the collaboration, said Gruber, Arch Personal Care began to put together SNP-Derms, active ingredients that provide an answer to SNP markers identified through GeneLink's Dermagenetic Profile Assessment. The assessment measures an individual's resistance to skin aging, skin irritation and tissue breakdown.
"Oxidative stress is something we're always under," emphasized Gruber. "Our bodies are capable of handling oxidative stress ," that's what the markers look for. We have specific genetic messengers that help us to protect ourselves, but what the GeneLink test has been able to find is that not all of us are running optimally in all the different areas. The test will tell you as a person what areas you really need support in and which areas you are doing fine in. It's unlike anything anyone has ever seen before," he added.
Although the companies are working on the formulations' marketing channels ," such as personal-care and cosmetic manufacturers ," they view the customization process as being "beautiful in its simplicity," noted Gruber. The customer would swab the inside of his or her mouth and mail the swab to GeneLink. From there, the swab would be bar-coded, put under confidence and then tested by a qualified outside laboratory. The laboratory would be looking for the fives SNPs ," or markers ,"identified thus far.
"What they'd send back [to the customer]," Gruber explained, "is a report card, basically, that tells you whether you are optimum in your protection in each of the five areas. Green, yellow and red are the colors we use for the optimum, middle and suboptimum categories ," and we haven't met anyone yet who's green in all of them."
The markers, said Gruber, cover two oxidative stress SNPs, one photoaging SNP, one skin irritation SNP and one environmental-pollutant related SNP. The test results would be provided to the manufacturer of the final product to customize that lotion, cream or other formulation for each individual's unique deficiencies.
"Our ultimate goal is to have the technology and the process become a commercial success," said Gruber. "To do that, of course, our immediate goal right now is to work with some manufacturers of finished products."
For more information, visit www.archpersonalcare.com or www.genelink.info.
OIT Releases New Version of Steam System Tool
WASHINGTON ," The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) announced the release of a Visual Basic version of its steam-system scoping tool.
Designed to help steam system energy managers and operations personnel profile and grade steam system operations and management, the tool also is offered in a Microsoft Excel version. According to OIT, the tool helps plants evaluate steam system operations against best practices.
OIT said it is collecting results from a number of chemical, petroleum and other "Industries of the Future" plants, and publishing the summary results on its BestPractices Steam Web site at www.oit.doe.gov/bestpractices/steam.
Industry Groups Commit to Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions
WASHINGTON ," During the recent launch of President Bush's "Climate VISION (Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now), the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and other industry associations pledged to support the president's greenhouse-gas emission reduction goals during the next decade. Climate VISION is a voluntary public,"private partnership focusing on cost-effective initiatives to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.