• Deanna Utroske

In The News: Perfect Corp, Angus Chemical, Amyris, Green Bioactives, Calyxt biotech

Biotech beauty ingredient innovators feature heavily in cosmetics and personal care industry news; while conventional ingredient makers stay focused on synthetics. None of which overshadows AR & AI beauty tech leader Perfect Corp's achievement: going public on the NYSE.

Photo by Sunira Moses on Unsplash

Facing the Future

💋📈Monday, October 31, beauty tech leader Perfect Corp will go public on the US Stock Exchange. The Taiwan-based AI and AR specialist merged with the blank-check company Provident Acquisition Corp at the start of October; and the deal has since been approved by the SEC.


Blank-check companies (BCCs) function for just this sort of purpose. They are publicly traded firms that exist to raise capital for undisclosed startups and to merge or acquire private businesses to help them go public.


🦄💰“We aim to be the next Taiwanese SaaS unicorn,” said one enthusiastic Perfect Corp team member in a post on LinkedIn just last week. Certainly, as a publicly traded company, Perfect will have the opportunity to swiftly raise significant capital and increase company valuation.


And, in an item for the Business Next news site, Lin Zhiyuan reports that the company plans to recruit talent in France, Japan, and the US (New York specifically). Plus there are plans to expand Perfect Corp’s global reach, expanding into Southeast Asia and the Middle East.


Scaling Up

Specialty chemical maker Angus has announced commercial-scale production of Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid—a buffering agent commonly denoted HEPES—for cosmetic, skincare, bioprocessing, and diagnostic market applications.


In a recent press release Angus President and CEO David Neuberger, remarked that, “the expansion into commercial production of HEPES is a natural fit with our strategy to become the world's most transparent and dependable manufacturer of essential upstream and downstream bioprocessing chemistries.”


A HEPES buffer is used to maintain or adjust pH, stabilizing a product formula. While the ingredient is relatively common in beauty and rated a 1 on EWG’s Skin Deep site, some have opted to formulate without it.


Clean skincare brand Paula’s Choice, for instance, points to “research indicating it can generate free radical damage in the presence of oxygen, which means it could be a problem when used in skincare products.” And the brand’s online ingredient dictionary concludes the entry on HEPES noting that, “There are definitely other buffering agents that are less problematic and have had safe concentration protocols established.”


Biotech Beauty Powerhouse

In late October, Amyris the biotech squalene innovator launched 2 new consumer brands:

⫼🧖Stripes, a wellness brand for (peri)menopausal consumers

🌱💋Eco-Fabulous, a clean color cosmetics and skincare brand for Gen Z


Starting this month, the 2 brands will be available on not only their respective DTC sites but also on Amazon. And, “Amyris will soon be announcing the launch of both brands into some of the leading physical retail stores,” according to a recent media release.


“We are very pleased with the early success of these brands as they join our award-winning consumer brand portfolio delivering the best of clean, sustainable beauty powered by our Lab-to-Market technology platform,” says John Melo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amyris, in the release.


“We continue to experience very strong consumer demand for our brands across each of our categories and expect an excellent finish to 2022,” he says. Indeed, Amyris has already had impress commercial success with consumer brands in its portfolio, namely the skincare brand Biossance; color cosmetics brand Rose In; mom and baby brand Pipette; hair care brand JVN; and the skincare, body care, and fragrance brand Costa Brazil.


Bigger Better Biotech

🌱🧪💋Plant stem cell specialist Green Bioactives made changes to top leadership in recent weeks, with an eye toward future financing and growth.


As October came to a close, Founder Gary Loake stepped aside from his CEO role to become the company’s Chief Scientific Officer (and will stay at his post as acting Board Chair). David McElroy PhD, is the new CEO of Green Bioactives.


“I'm excited to be taking on this position at a time when the need to provide more sustainable access to valuable plant bioactives is more critical than ever,” McElroy tells the press.


“Green Bioactives' platform,” he says, “gives us the potential to become the world's leading supplier of safe, natural and sustainably-sourced plant-derived products, with strong commercial potential across a range of industries, and we are in a great position to begin realizing that vision.”


Scotland-based Green Bioactives was founded in 2020. Now in the discovery and development phase, Green Bioactives aims to serve the food, pharma, ag, and cosmetics industries with what it describes as plant biomolecules. Learn more here about Green Bioactives’ tech.


More Biotech Squalene Coming to Beauty Ingredients Market

Minnesota-based synthetic biology company Calyxt recently announced production of the popular emollient for cosmetics and pharma applications.


“The successful production of squalene is a major success in advancing our technology platform as well as developing plant-based synthetic biology solutions,” Michael A. Carr, President and CEO of the biotech company tells the press.


“The team,” he says, “has done a tremendous job in refining and optimizing our technology, and we are proud to deliver a sustainable, plant-based answer for a highly sought-after ingredient in skincare products and critical vaccine adjuvants.”


Calyxt uses tissue culture, gene editing, and cell transformation capabilities to reengineer plant metabolism to generate the desired compounds and molecules. These techniques are all part of the company’s PlantSpring technology platform. The platform, using AI and machine learning, is continually gaining data that speeds up the process in future iterations. And the company boasts that its “pilot bioreactor, the BioFactory, enables the delivery of new compounds ready for commercial scale production in less than 36 months.”

 

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