World-first ‘super peptide’ technology bio-hacks the skin’s natural repair process

Scientists at skincare brandNo7 and The University of Manchester, have announced the creation of a new ‘super peptide’ blend proven to bio-hack the skin’s natural repair process, signalling renewal of over 50 key proteins including collagen and fibrillin in skin cells. The matrix-derived super peptide blend – which represents the biggest cosmetic science innovation in No7’s history – contains two brand-new chemical entities, a patent-pending world-first technology that cannot be found in any other product.

The discovery follows 15 years of research and innovation using scientific methods and approaches that are more akin to medical research and rarely seen in cosmetic product development. The new peptide blend was developed using cutting edge British R&D across several fields of science and technology including advanced robotics, mathematical modelling, bioinformatics, machine learning, cell biology and cosmetic science.

“With 87 years of innovation and scientific firsts, No7 prides itself on ensuring its products provide customers with exceptional results,” said No7’s Head of Science Research Dr Mike Bell. The new peptide blend effectively tricks the skin into thinking that it has been damaged to signal renewal of key proteins such as collagen and fibrillin to boost skin’s natural self-repair mechanisms, targeting signs of cumulative damage both on and under the surface. The result is a brand-new peptide blend which we believe will be a game changer for our consumers.

“Underpinning this discovery is No7’s long-standing research partnership with brilliant scientists at The University of Manchester. Together we utilised new state-of-the-art methodologies and techniques such as machine learning and bioinformatics to identify and screen naturally-occurring skin efficacious peptides – a first for the cosmetics industry.”

Mike Sherratt, Professor of Biochemistry at The University of Manchester, comments: “Today the field of peptide technology research is booming, with exciting new discoveries and applications being used in therapeutic medical settings as well as in cosmetic science. This novel and revolutionary peptide innovation could only have been developed from having a deep understanding of skin damage.”

Five peer reviewed papers form the science backdrop to this latest innovation from No7 and The University of Manchester, with a further manuscript recently submitted to high impact science journal. Research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s annual conference in Louisiana revealed the new peptide blend is proven to enhance the expression of over 50 key skin proteins, including collagen and fibrillin, which support skin function and natural self-repair.

No7’s new super peptide is set to be one of the most effective and tolerated skincare ingredients on the cosmetic market. Unlike retinoic acid, which is known by dermatologists to cause tolerance challenges such as skin sensitivity and redness, No7’s new super peptide is both highly potent and also highly tolerated, being suitable even for those with sensitive skin. This paves the way to making gold standard skin repair available to even more people.

Cutting-edge Technology

Machine learning was utilised to identify naturally-occurring peptide sequences released from key skin molecules including collagens and elastic-fibre proteins, which were then tested using state-of-the-art omics techniques to characterise their skin remodelling activity and find the most powerful for deep down skin repair.

Scientists evaluated thousands of possible peptide combinations to identify this new super peptide, a blend of two novel synthetic tetra-peptides, pal-GPKG and pal-LSVD, which mimic naturally occurring peptides in the skin to boost the skin’s natural self-repair function.

Robotic technology at the University of Liverpool’s Materials Innovation Factory and mathematical modelling techniques were used to optimise the formulation textures and delivery system for penetration of the peptides to where they are needed and work the best. As a result, penetration is predicted to be 50% better than existing formulations.

The new super peptide technology has been met with excitement from the global scientific community with the technology due to be presented at three world leading scientific conferences this Spring including the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Conference in Louisiana, the British Society for Investigative Dermatology (BSID) Annual Meeting in Glasgow and the International Societies for Investigative Dermatology (ISID) meeting in Tokyo.

Dr Matiss Ozols, formerly of The University of Manchester and now based at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, comments: “Application of this peptide discovery pipeline to other tissues could profoundly advance the treatment of age-related diseases, providing novel treatments inspired by the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms. I’m excited by the possibilities!”

This discovery builds on a long history of scientific innovation for No7; the brand was the first to prove that non-medical cosmetic products worked when the scientific efficacy of the No7 Protect and Perfect Serum was verified on BBC Horizon in 2007. In 2009 No7 was the first to publish a 12-month study on an anti-ageing cosmetic product showing clinical wrinkle improvements in a paper published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Patent applications have been submitted and are pending for both the new peptides and the delivery system.

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