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Inventing Success

By: Rachel L. Grabenhofer
Posted: February 2, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 7 of 8

Transformer materials: Beyond formulating efficiencies, intelligent ingredients are being engineered to not only act via novel mechanisms and provide smart delivery, but also to transform when a specific stimulus is applied. One such example, presented at the IFSCC Conference in Melbourne by Merck’s René Scheurich, involved modifying known anti-UV actives to form intelligent skin care actives that convert under sunlight to their counterpart UV absorbers. According to Scheurich, the degree of this conversion is dose-dependent and can therefore be used to ensure intelligent UV protection based on exposure amount.

Attendees at the meeting were intrigued by this technology, especially for markets such as the U.S., where the approval of new UV filters is a rare occurrence. As one attendee suggested, since the material begins as one material but photo-coverts to another, this could be a work-around to such regulatory hurdles.

Conclusion

While few (if any) companies have escaped feeling at least some effects from the downturned economy, it is obvious that innovation remains strong and is necessary to continued survival—especially in such a competitive marketplace. After the dust settles in the next year or so, this author predicts that companies that have scaled back on investments in R&D will need to revisit this decision, rethink their strategy and revive this vital organ to ensure their longer-term life.

So what’s the overall state of the cosmetics R&D industry? We’re inventing success.

* More information on these companies’ financial performance is available at www.GCImagazine.com. Links are provided to the full fiscal statements.