Top 5 Startups Leading the Research in Skincare

AOBiome is researching a beneficial bacteria which is used to treat skin diseases such as acne and psoriasis. 

Codex Beauty filed a patent that talks about a natural composition that when applied to the skin, moisturizes and hydrates it while helping the skin retain its moisture.

How are these technologies impacting the skincare industry? How far have the startups reached in commercializing such innovations?

To answer the above and many more other questions, we dived deeper into the ongoing research by analyzing ‌patent filings in the industry. Our analysis shows that cosmetic startups are researching and offering their own unique beauty solutions. It seems the cosmetics giants like L’oreal, P&G, Unilever, etc; have got some real competition.

We have a Report on Cosmetic Startups that are working on the new industry trends. You can get the report by filling out the form below:

In this article, we have discussed some of their innovations. You can access another article on cosmetic startups researching new trends, while we talk briefly about the same in this article.

Here are the top 5 skincare startups:

1. Chemistry Rx

Chemistry Rx was founded in 2013 with a focus on rare, pediatric dermatological, and metabolic medications. 

For a long time, they have been trying to solve various skin diseases such as cutaneous infections and malignancies developed in organ transplant recipients due to long-term immunosuppressive therapy. Where, cutaneous infections are non-invasive infections of the skin, hair, or nails that cause pathologic changes in the host. Most commonly, these fungal infections are caused by dermatophytes, but they can also be caused by non-dermatophyte fungi and yeast. Whereas malignancies refer to the presence of cancerous cells that have the ability to spread to other sites in the body (metastasize) or to invade nearby (locally) and destroy tissues

With their research, Chemistry Rx filed a patent US20200253994A1, in which they talked about a composition comprising up to about 10% (w/w) of a pyrimidine derivative and a base. This composition helps in treating the above-named diseases.

According to the company, this composition, once given to the subject, delays the beginning of symptoms of a medical condition or enhances, reduces, normalizes, or adjusts the growth, texture, appearance, color, sensation, or hydration of the intended tissue treatment area of the tissue surface in a subject.

Geographic Spread of the Product/ServicesRevenueNo. of patentsAny collaborationFundingAwards and Recognitions
United States<$5 Million5

2. Krystal Biotech

In most of the epidermolysis bullosa (a group of rare medical conditions that result in easy blistering of the skin and mucous membranes) patients suffer from deficiencies of the Collagen alpha-1 (VII) chain protein, as well as deficiencies in the Lysyl hydroxylase 3 protein. These proteins are responsible for strengthening and supporting the connective tissues, such as skin, bone, tendons, and ligaments, throughout the body. In particular, type VII collagen plays an essential role in strengthening and stabilizing the skin.

So, to overcome this problem, Krystal Biotech, founded in 2015, came up with a composition comprising one or more polynucleotides encoding a Collagen alpha-1 (VII) chain polypeptide, a Lysyl hydroxylase 3 polypeptide, a Keratin type I cytoskeletal 17 polypeptides, and/or a chimeric polypeptide thereof. 

The collagen alpha-1 (VII) chain polypeptide enhances, augments, and/or supplements anchoring fibril formation of a subject when the polypeptide is expressed in one or more target cells of the subject. Wherein, the anchoring fibrils are adhesive supra structures that ensure the connection of the outermost skin layer (epidermal basement membrane) with the dermis layer (beneath the epidermis) i.e. dermal extracellular matrix.

Krystal Biotech also filed patent application US20200101123A1 for this solution.

However, the startup was in conspiracy for this patent application, as a Pittsburgh biotech company PeriphaGen sued the former lab partner Krystal Biotech Inc, in Pennsylvania federal court claiming Krystal copied its gene therapy technology and used that to seek patents and investors. According to the complaint filed by PeriphaGen Inc, the company shared information about its technology, which uses a modified version of the Herpes Simplex 1 virus, to deliver genetic material to patients with Krystal in 2016 so that Krystal could explore potential treatments. But Krystal used that technology without notifying PeriphaGen” (Source)

Geographic Spread of the Product/ServicesRevenueNo. of patentsAny collaborationFundingAward and Recognition
United States<$5 Million4Krystal Biotech and GeneDx Announce Collaboration to Provide No-charge Genetic Testing for Patients with Suspected Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (DEB)Krystal Biotech has raised a total of $386M in funding over 5 rounds-Krystal Biotech Receives Equity-Based Award from EB Research Partnership and EB Medical Research Foundation

3. AOBiome

AOBiome, founded in 2013, is researching a beneficial bacteria which is used to treat skin diseases such as acne and psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes red, itchy scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp. It is a common, long-term (chronic) disease with no cure. It tends to go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a while or going into remission.

For this, they have proposed spraying a composition comprising Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB) onto the skin of the subject. The composition will inhibit the microbial growth on the subject’s skin and also lower the rate of inflammation produced due to NO generation on the skin.

For this solution, AOBiome has filed a patent US20190010446A1.

The startup has announced the completion of a cosmetic study investigating the safety and effects of its novel AOB formulation on subjects with mild to moderate eczema (itchy inflammation of the skin). The results of the study demonstrate immediate and sustained reductions in itch with the application of a probiotic skin cream in subjects between 2 and 65 years of age. (Source)

Geographic Spread of the Product/ServicesRevenueNo. of patentsAny collaborationFundingAward and Recognition
United States$6 Million4AOBiome Partners with iCarbonX and Secures $30 Million Investment for Drug DevelopmentAOBiome Partners with iCarbonX and Secures $30 Million Investment for Drug Development

4. Evelo Biosciences

Evelo Biosciences, founded in 2014, is researching a composition to treat various diseases or disorders associated with pathological immune response, such as an autoimmune disease, an allergic reaction, or an inflammatory disease in a human being. The startup came up with a bacterial composition consisting of a Blautia strain (a species of anaerobic, gram-positive bacteria) comprising at least 90% genomic, 16S or CRISPR sequence identity to the nucleotide sequence of the Blautia Strain A (ATCC Deposit Number PTA-125346), wherein the pharmaceutical composition is enteric-coated.

To treat the above diseases the bacterial composition, once given to the subject, will either induce a regulatory T cell or an anti-inflammatory response. Wherein, T cells are part of the immune system and protect the body from infection, and may help fight cancer.

For this, Evelo Biosciences has filed a patent US10702561B2

Not only this, in September 2021, Evelo announced positive data from its Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating EDP1815 (is an investigational oral biologic in development for the treatment of inflammatory diseases including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and COVID-19) versus placebo for the treatment of mild and moderate psoriasis. (Source)

Geographic Spread of the Product/ServicesRevenueNo. of patentsAny collaborationFundingAward and Recognition
United StatesEvelo Biosciences’s estimated annual revenue is currently $16.6M per year3$281M

5. Codex Beauty

Skin is subjected to numerous extrinsic and intrinsic negative influences that affect its appearance, physical properties, and physiological functions. Extrinsic influences include ultraviolet radiation, environmental pollution, etc. whereas Intrinsic influences include chronological aging, a person’s genetic makeup, and skin homogeneity. These factors result in the development of fine lines and wrinkles, sagging, and loss of elasticity and firmness, which are oftentimes associated with an attendant reduction in the skin’s moisture content.

To counteract these, negative impacts, treatments such as topical therapy, oral therapy, cosmetic procedures, compositions, etc., have been developed. However, these treatments oftentimes suffer from drawbacks associated with skin irritation and/or prolonged recovery periods.

Codex Beauty’s patent application US10682306B1 talks about a natural composition comprising an infusion of Calendula officinalis extract; an infusion of Helichrysum italium extract; an infusion of Symphytum officinale extract; an infusion of Viola tricolor extract; and an infusion of at least one Mallow extract. When this composition is applied onto the skin, it moisturizes and hydrates the skin, and helps the skin retain this moisture which helps in both its health and appearance.

In addition to this, Codex Beauty Labs has been granted two more U.S. patents related to its newest skincare line, Antü®. This product line helps combat aging due to a weakened skin barrier.

Recently the startup has been granted a Seal of Recognition by the National Psoriasis Foundation for five of its skincare products. The Seal of Recognition demonstrates that these products are safe as part of a daily skincare routine for sensitive skin and/or individuals with psoriasis. The products are Bia Skin Superfood, Bia Exfoliating Wash, Bia Facial Oil, Antü Brightening Moisturizer, and Antü Brightening Serum. (Source)

Geographic Spread of the Product/ServicesRevenueNo. of patentsAny collaborationFundingAward and Recognition
United StatesCodex Beauty Corporation has 24 total employees across all of its locations and generates $3.87 million in sales (USD)3Undisclosed

The above startups are just the tip of the iceberg of the patent analysis that we have done in the skincare industry. A number of startups are working in this area developing various skincare solutions and various collaborations with big giants are taking place. 

With an analysis of over 421 startups researching in 9 categories, we have listed all the problems in the cosmetic domain and the solutions provided by the startups in our dashboard.

Want to know how you can make a stronghold and which startups you could benefit from?

Check out the interactive dashboard and get the insights.

Authored By: Sukha Singh and Akshay Agarwal, Patent Analytics team.

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