Cosmetics & Cosmeceuticals
Cosmetic Actives Development
Delivering innovative cosmetic actives
Cosmeceuticals is an amalgamation of cosmetic and pharmaceutical. The last decade has seen a significant growth in the use of active peptides to produce superior products.
It is well known that venoms contain a wide range of biologically active peptides, and several venoms have demonstrated functional activity in cosmetics. Products containing bee venom were the first on the market in early 2000s followed by a short synthetic snake venom peptide in 2009.
Prior to Venomtech’s involvement in the industry, venom-based cosmetics were restricted to anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing indications. Through our VenomSELECT™ service we have opened up possibilities for novel, functional, active ingredients, for all indications.
Our first product is SensAmone P5, a synthetic pentapeptide, derived from Sea Anemone venom. This product reduces the pain of sensitive skin by blocking TRPV1 in-vitro and has been shown to reduce pain sensation in human volunteers. See case study for further information.
We can help deliver your next premium active ingredient, with data to support your claims.
Our venom peptide library offers many ways to achieve commercially valuable cosmetic actives, providing a high degree of control and risk reduction. We can lead on part or all of the following process:
- Identifying molecular targets for desired effects
- Selecting venom peptides to interact with targets
- Testing for efficacy and potency
- Re-designing and optimising peptides
- Safety testing and registration
- Bulk supply of actives
Please see our VenomSELECT™ page for further details.
Venomous animals have had to evolve novel ways of protecting themselves from infections. Venoms have evolved a wide range of antimicrobial actions, including antibacterial and anti fungal effects. Our scientists can tailor a venom peptide to specifically meet your needs, from product stability, right through to skin cleansing and even balancing native flora for healthier skin.
Ion Channels in the nerve terminals of the skin are involved with the perception of skin sensitivity. Activation of these channels directly increases sensitivity, pain and other unpleasant sensations. Venoms from certain spiders and scorpions are known to inhibit acid sensing ion channels (ASICS) and calcium channels, amongst others. Venom-derived peptides can be designed to block these receptors in a controlled manner.
Enzymes, such as proteases, break down structural proteins, including collagen and elastin. These proteins maintain the skin’s flexibility and prevent wrinkle formation. Centipede venoms contain a diverse collection of largely unexplored proteins, some of which are known to have protease inhibiting properties.
C-jun is a transcription factor that is expressed at higher levels in aged skin, and controls the expression of many genes involved in ageing. Scorpion venom peptides are known to inhibit c-jun and may therefore reduce skin ageing. Some snake venoms actively remodel skin proteins for exfoliation, scar reduction and/or anti-ageing.
Arising from many daily activities, dry skin is the result of a loss of moisture (Transepidermal Water Loss; TEL) and micronutrients from the skin's surface. Many moisturisers focus on replacement of these lost factors. However venoms from desert creatures such as spiders, scorpions and centipedes can stop moisture loss from occurring through modulation of key ion channels (aquaporins) involved in water loss.