DSM Venturing bolster skin microbiome interests with S-Biomedic investment

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/evgenyatamanenko
©iStock/evgenyatamanenko
Royal DSM’s venture investment arm has made its interest in the skin microbiome clear with financial support backing the efforts of Belgium-based life sciences company S-Biomedic.

The outlay reaffirms the firm’s commitment to gut microbiome research and solutions that include its Culturelle product range, which uses Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG​ to aid in good digestive and immune health.

In a company statement, S-Biomedic said the funds would enable the firm to “rapidly progress their portfolio of products and enter into development and commercialisation agreements with leading dermatological and cosmetic brands.

With its long-established expertise in skin biology and in-depth knowledge in the field of epidermal science DSM is well placed to extend its research and innovation focus on the skin microbiome​,” added Rishabh Pande, vice president marketing and innovation personal care and aroma at DSM.

“We have already made encouraging discoveries about how skin actives in our existing product portfolio work on the skin and scalp microbiome. Through this investment, we hope to foster further innovation in the field.​”

Series A financing round

DSM’s investment completes S-Biomedic’s second Series A financing round, in which the firm raised a total of €4m.

Investors include global skin care firm Beiersdorf and start-up investors investiere.ch. Further contributions were made from Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

S-Biomedic’s research interests include a lead program focusing on acne, a skin disorder in which the distortion of the microbiome is linked to its onset.

In acne, hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. A common species of skin bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes​ is said to colonise the blockage, causing inflammation.

The firm’s therapy is designed to replace the acne-prone species of bacteria in the microbiome with more benign species, simply by applying a mix of the benign bacteria on the skin.

Our prototype should be completed in the next two years, and then will be tested in vivo,​” said Veronika Oudova, CEO and co-founder of S-Biomedic back in October 2018​.

S-Biomedic are also in the midst of two early stage concept development programs that focus on ageing and dandruff.

Nutricosmetic sector

The firm join SkinBioTherapeutics in the UK and AOBiome in the US as pioneers of the nutricosmetics field where research into the skin microbiome is being translated into therapies.

British company Vitabiotics also launched its Perfectil brand in the US nutricosmetics market in 2018 with products that include Triple Active Support for Skin, Hair and Nails; Perfectil Nails; Perfectil Hair and Perfectil Skin.

Its main ingredients include B-vitamins like riboflavin and niacin, as well as minerals selenium and zinc.

“S-Biomedic have a novel platform technology supported by fundamental insight into the skin microbiome, with promising products in the pipeline,”​ said Rob Beudeker, investment director at DSM Venturing and director at S-Biomedic.

“They have a track record of partnering with leading dermatological and cosmetic companies, and clear paths to market.”

DSM Venturing has invested in more than 50 emerging innovative companies since its inception in 2001.

Its current portfolio​ includes commitments to nutrition-based firms such as Mixfit​,​ a personalized nutrition and digital health company offering consumers real time tailored nutritional drinks based on individuals’ unique health and continuous digital data.

DSM has also given its backing to NutriLeads, a Dutch firm that develops food ingredients with clinically demonstrated health benefits.

Its lead ingredient IMPP-1, currently in clinical trials, supports immune function and improves resistance to infections.

Another Dutch firm receiving support from DSM is Isobionics, which in 2014 received assistance to develop environmentally friendly isoprenoids ingredients for the flavour & fragrance and markets.

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