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Source of Innovation

By: Sara Mason
Posted: April 28, 2014, from the May 2014 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Pore Reductyl can be used in a variety of beauty and skin care applications to enhance the action of anti-aging, anti-wrinkle and firming products, as well as in anti-irritants and cellular renewal products targeting wound healing and problem skin. It is also appropriate for hair care designed to enhance and focus on scalp therapy.

Continuing in the trend of innovation based on tradition, Cobiosa also launched Cobiolive, a natural liquid olive extract. A symbol of the Mediterranean culture, the olive tree is extremely long living due to its content of potent antioxidant compounds. Cobiolive 20 is characterized by its high content of hydroxytyrosol (20%), tyrosol and other polyphenols, and hydroxytyrosol is reported to perform several biological activities and is a powerful scavenger. “This combination produces positive, synergistic effects resulting in highly antioxidant properties,” notes Sánchez.

Outside the Box

Simply gaining a new perspective with some out-of-the-box thinking can be the key to finding solutions as well. “The market demands both innovation and functionality,” says Liki von Oppen-Bezalel, vice president of business development and marketing, IBR Ltd. “Sometimes you can find that by combining simple observation with a new way of thinking.”

IBR-Gapture is uniquely sourced from a desert plant that has capabilities to resist the harsh environment—the jojoba tree. “It provides a twist and a sustainable angle to jojoba as a source of raw materials since it is made from the leaf,” Von Oppen-Bezalel explains. The jojoba leaf provides the tree protection in dry desert conditions. The harsh environment in which the plant thrives and the leaf’s role is what piqued IBR’s interest. “The trees are being trimmed annually, and we basically use the waste for our production,” von Oppen-Bezalel notes. The harvest is done under controlled conditions to allow reproducibility of the extract content, and the extract itself is environmentally friendly as it is without organic solvents and is water based.

The activities of the product are unique as well, providing the skin with strength and smoothness through the stimulation of the expression of proteins such as keratins and fibronectin and reducing water loss.

For unique ingredient innovations or beneficial combinations, patents also can play an important role. Patented ingredients and formulations give brands an edge, some of which may be based on the claims put into the patent or the viability of the patents being unique to the formulation, which competitors may not be able to claim. “Innovations that are not easily copied allow brands the top shot for exclusivity, whereby they would enjoy first-to-market rights on that particular formula,” explains Shaheen Majeed, marketing director, Sabinsa. Such early adapters would differentiate themselves from their competitors.

The majority of Sabinsa patents—which recently grew to 87—have been ingredient-based, looking at their composition, process for development and for their use. Innovation hardly stands still, and sometimes companies push forward a simple process patent while the clinical work is underway to effectively apply for a patent on that product’s use. “In many cases, we’re able to apply for both, including the composition, at the same time,” says Majeed.

Oftentimes, the process itself is the major reason Sabinsa is able to obtain that ingredient. In such cases, where the ingredient itself may or may not be novel, the process taken to get there is, and is certainly can be worthwhile protecting. The novelty, not the monopoly, of such unique processes and innovative ingredients helps reduce the number of generic or counterfeit products that enter the industry, which ultimately affects consumer confidence with regard to the types of ingredients or formulas being offered. The processes Sabinsa embarks on for patenting have been scientifically validated through high levels of scrutiny. “We want to ensure it’s not only the best way to obtain such a product, but the safest way,” Majeed says. “Another reason to patent unique processes might be to protect how well we’ve optimized the yield in which we obtain the final product.”

One of Sabinsa’s most recent patents is for Boswellin, from the dry, hilly parts of India. The European patent discusses the unique therapeutic potential of boswellic acids from the gum resin in combination with selenium amino acids to effectively manage inflammatory conditions of immunological origin, such as psoriasis.

Ensuring that patents are protected also allows forerunners to continue to invest in innovation. “Innovation is a major driving force in almost every industry,” says Majeed. “For much of it, changing government policies, shifting demographics and economic pressures often create a necessity for innovation.”

Sara Mason is a freelance writer based in the Chicagoland area. She was previously managing editor of GCI magazine.