€500K funding for development of new plant-based skin treatments

The Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain has granted a loan of 334 thousand Euros to Vytrus Biotech, specialised in plant stem cell cultures, and a non-refundable grant of 160 thousand Euros to Gaiker Technology Centre.

The project, planned to be carried out in 3 years, aims to develop a new generation of plant-based skin treatments, with applications in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.

This research arises from the need to continue investigating the skin, the largest organ in the human body. The skin is exposed to constant attacks from our environment (pollution, sun excess, etc.) and to dermal products of chemical origin with adverse side effects (allergies, irritations, or dermal pathologies). 

Vytrus Biotech, which develops cosmetic active ingredients based on plant stem cells, proposes to address the treatment of the skin through a plant mechanism of action: Quorum Quenching. Plants have Anti-quormonas molecules that, when applied to human skin, can block the communication between skin bacteria to prevent their virulence, and from causing pathologies and affections.

The "Retos" project consists of the design of active ingredients rich in these Anti-Quormones, to disarm bacteria by hacking their communication systems, in the same way that plants do. Useful to treat and prevent skin pathologies in a way that respects its ecosystem, since microbes are not destroyed nor threatened, but are kept in balance.

To demonstrate this efficacy, Gaiker will develop human skin models in the laboratory that do not currently exist on the market and will allow the study of the different applications of interest. In this way, it aims to develop postbiotic products of natural origin for cosmetic applications such as sensitive skin and pharmaceuticals for different dermatological conditions. The potential market to which the products developed in the "Retos" project are directed could be around 10 million Euros per year. 

Products indicated for sensitive skin and new preservatives of biological origin will be commercialised through Vytrus Biotech's own international network, with sales in 24 countries and distribution agreements in more than 50.