In 2009, a local biotechnology company approached researchers at the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) hoping to learn more about the unique effects of its products.
Ceapro Inc., who develop and commercialize innovative active ingredients for both human and animal health markets, recognized a need to generate more data to support efficacy claims to its multi-national customers.
“We have supplied these global brands for some time,” explains Gilles Gagnon, President and CEO of Ceapro Inc. “Many of the products contain Ceapro’s signature avenanthramides and oat beta glucan, which boast anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties.”
Ceapro has a history of successful collaborations and a commitment to the provision of quality products that are supported by strong science and clinical evidence. So when customers wanted biological data to further substantiate the health benefit claims of some of their established brands, Ceapro was more than happy to investigate.
“With cosmeceuticals and personal care, there is so much still to be discovered,” explains Gagnon. “We came to NINT’s Innovation Support Program because we knew they had the technology and expertise to fully explore the possibilities.”
In addition to world-class researchers and state-of-the-art equipment, what NINT had was a way of evaluating the products that was in compliance with heightened European regulations prohibiting animal testing.
“We began by testing bio-actives in a variety of skin inflammatory assays that explored the bioactivity of certain molecules,” explains Dr. Marianna Kulka, Project Leader. “We were looking to see how the products would aid in certain skin pathologies. What we found was that Ceapro formulations have the ability to increase skin permeability, reduce local tissue inflammation and perhaps boost immune responses.”
Three years later and the partnership is still strong. NINT and Ceapro continue to work together as they refine and optimize Ceapro’s product line. And the results are impressive.
“Our partnership continues to evolve,” says Dr. Kulka. “We are now working on bio-assays that measure the effects of UV radiation on the immune microenvironment at a genomic level. We are exploring ways to create functionalized nanoparticles that are able to target specific inflammatory pathways. These approaches to skin health could potentially revolutionize cosmetics and skin care industries around the globe.”
With the help of NINT’s Innovation Support Program, Ceapro has expanded its market share significantly, offering progressive products to a myriad of cosmeceutical and personal care companies who are developing novel creams, makeup and skin cleansing lines. The partners are busy. So busy in fact that the once lone biotechnology researcher now works alongside four other dedicated NINT professionals.
“We certainly enjoy working with NINT,” adds Gagnon. “What started out years ago as a request for data has blossomed into something much more fruitful. NINT’s Innovation Support really is a special place full of expertise.”