Expert discusses innovation in 'microbiome-selective' bacteriophage ingredient for topical applications

Phage technology represents paradigm shift in skincare says R D

New York-based cosmetic and personal care product ingredient manufacturer Biocogent is leveraging its biotech roots with its targeted skincare approach. DermaPhage products, which “are infused with a unique combination of at least three bacteriophages (or simply phages) that are uniquely targeted to a specific bacterial member of the skin microbiome…offer specificity when seeking to modulate the levels of a particular constituent bacterium of the normal microbiota of the skin, which can ameliorate a variety of different skin conditions​” like acne, as detailed on the company’s website.

To learn more about topical phage therapy for cosmetic applications, including the development behind DermaPhage and the potential for further innovation using bacteriophages in skin care, CosmeticsDesign interviewed Dr. Paul Lawrence, Executive Director of Research and Discovery at Biocogent, for his insights.

CDU: What is the potential impact of the phage technological development and launch on manufacturers and suppliers in the cosmetics and personal beauty care product industries? 

Dr. Paul Lawrence (PL): In the era of expanding antimicrobial resistance, the anti-bacterial bacteriophage platform has the potential to be transformative in many ways. This technology provides an alternative to prescribing topical antibiotics to counter multiple bacteria-driven skin conditions that do not have a collateral negative impact on the beneficial members of the microbiota. 

Furthermore, as our understanding continues to grow of the importance of the skin microbiome concerning skin health, so too will the desire to leverage that knowledge to develop and commercialize more “microbiome modulatory” cosmetic care products in the hopes of ameliorating many skin conditions that have a bacterial culprit. The beauty of bacteriophages is their species specificity – they only target a single bacterial species (sometimes even a single strain of a particular species). 

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