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In The News: online protein discovery, tree-free paper packaging, encapsulated resveratrol

Shiru launches protein discovery platform for cosmetics, Impress Communications new bamboo and cotton packaging material, polymer dendrimer technology for skincare ingredient delivery

Photo by Roma Kaiuk on Unsplash

🧬🛒Protein Marketplace

Are you ready to shop the Amazon of proteins?

Dr Jasmin Hume, Founder and CEO of the California-based protein discovery company Shiru, certainly hopes so. “We’ve been using AI to identify high-value, novel, scalable proteins for years,” says Hume in this month’s press release announcing the launch of a new platform called ProteinDiscovery[dot]ai.


The new platform expands Shiru’s business into the cosmetics and personal care sector. Previously the company, founded in 2019, catered to only the food industry.  The ProteinDiscovery site also welcomes businesses of every size to shop a catalog of over 33 million molecules, all of which are ready to scale and available to be sampled, and licensed, or purchased.


ProteinDiscovery is searchable by sequence, functional use or application, and successful expression. And the team at Shiru believes that the new platform can “save companies millions of dollars in R&D costs — and years of work” in the transition to bio-based ingredients.


ProteinDiscovery[dot]ai is not only open to beauty makers, but the company has also teamed up with the ingredient discovery platform Novi Connect, where the Shiru-developed ingredient OleoPro and the protein that it contains (uPro) are both available as well.


OleoPro is a USPTO-patented ingredient that “uses plant-based proteins to create protein scaffolds that structure liquid oils,” according to this month’s press release. It’s “a high-performance, structured fat that replaces unsustainable tropical oils including palm, coconut oil, and cocoa butter in food and personal care. The highly tunable protein technology powering OleoPro allows oils to be used in new ways to deliver a range of previously impossible functionality…”


Shiru’s ProteinDiscovery site has the potential to make AI-assisted protein development more widely accessible. Other online tools exist in this space: The Copilot platform from 310[dot]ai, for example, lets ingredient developers use web-based chat to design, visualize, and run molecular models. And beauty ingredient suppliers including biotech-collagen makers Geltor and Cambrium already do what they do with the help of AI. 


🌲🚫Tree-Free Packaging

Late last month, secondary packaging specialist Impress Communications launched a new line of materials made from bamboo (75%) and cotton (25%).


Even beyond what its name implies, the Tree-Free collection has a solid environmental sustainability story: the new material is FSC Certified, recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable. Plus it’s produced using hydro-energy.


Impress Communications (based in California, US, and founded in 1989) is confident that this new line of packaging materials will meet market expectations. According to the company press release announcing the line, “the high-quality fibers provide a soft and smooth quality that is whiter and holds color better than previous paper materials….Tree-Free is 18pt double uncoated cardstock, perfect for die-cutting, foiling, and embossing.”


🍇Encapsulated Resveratrol

A new skincare ingredient delivery mechanism, based on polymer dendrimer technology, has arrived in the consumer marketplace.


BioDendrimer, a patented and trademarked molecule, ensures that cosmetic actives retain stability and potency by protecting them from exposure to light and air, while simultaneously making them soluble. It’s essentially an encapsulation technology. And it was developed by Dr. Abhay Chauhan, an Associate Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin (US).


The four US patents on this technology are held by Concordia University of Wisconsin; and exclusive worldwide rights to these patents have been granted to Amruth Group. The Group comprises Dr. Chauhan, along with Michael Reilly (a business executive, consultant, and professor with experience in multiple industries) and Jayson Kurfis, serving as Chief Technology Officer. Kurfis spent nearly 10 years in the early 2000s working as a consumer research scientist at L’Oréal.


As what appears to be a proof-of-concept project for the BioDendrimer technology, Amruth Group has recently launched a consumer skincare product formulated with encapsulated resveratrol. Under a brand called Amruth Advance Skincare, they’re selling an anti-aging facial cream on their own ecommerce site as well as on Amazon. A one-ounce airless jar is priced at $79.99 on both.


Reilly, who serves as CEO of the Amruth Group told Anna Lardinois of MKE Startup News earlier this year that, “Our objective is to partner with a major cosmetic company that sees the value in this and knows how to sell it.” And as is so often the case, the Group is reportedly looking beyond beauty and exploring further possible industrial and/or commercial applications for its technology.


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