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Press release
Innovation
August 28, 2019

Evonik intensifies commitment to microbiome research in the search for new cosmetic raw materials

Three-year partnership with the University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) ensures access to first-rate academic research

  • Three-year partnership with the University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI)
  • Collaboration ensures access to first-rate academic research
  • Microbiotic cosmetic raw materials are designated to provide a better protection of the skin

Essen, Germany/San Diego, USA. Human skin is home to a large number and wide variety of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses, collectively known as the skin microbiome. Its composition is as individual as a fingerprint and depends on a variety of factors. This new partnership between Evonik and the University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation aims to provide new insights about the complex composition of these microbial communities on the skin. The target of the three-year agreement and future research projects is the improvement of existing cosmetic raw materials and the potential discovery and development of new ones for promoting a healthier skin microbiome.

The cooperation with the Center for Microbiome Innovation will give Evonik’s scientist’s new impetus to its Care Biotics technology platform, in which the company promotes the development of commercial microbiotic products. “The partnership with the renowned CMI will enable us to dive deeper into the fascinating field of the skin microbiome. This will enable us to realize the vast potential of this technology platform to create and commercialize better product solutions,” says Dr. Tammo Boinowitz, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Evonik’s business line Care Solutions.

“Although research on the skin microbiome is still in its infancy, it’s of enormous interest for consumers as well as from the scientific viewpoint,” explains Dr. Peter Lersch, Vice President of Evonik’s innovation growth field Cosmetic Solutions. “The microbiome supports the epidermal skin barrier and plays also a role in the aging process of the skin. The development of microbiome-friendly cosmetic products is therefore a highly promising application area.” Jan Wolter, head of the Sustainable Business unit at Creavis, the strategic R&D unit of Evonik, adds, “To be able to find an effective cosmetic ingredient, a profound knowledge of the role of the individual microorganisms is essential.”

Together with the CMI team, Evonik intends to explore model systems for the skin microbiome. Such investigations should greatly accelerate the systematic evaluation of new as well as existing raw materials.

The Center for Microbiome Innovation exists to inspire, nurture, and sustain vibrant collaborations between UC San Diego Microbiome experts and industry. The Center encompasses a large range of expertise in microbiome sampling, a broad range of technologies (metagenomics, metabolomics, metatranscriptomics) and data analysis using high-performance algorithms, machine learning, and modeling. The ultimate goal is to increase knowledge of the microbiome’s impact on human health and the environment with an eye to providing innovative solutions and treatment to major diseases as well as prolonging wellness.

“We are delighted to have a partner like Evonik. The combination of CMI’s first-rate academic research and prominent opinion leaders as well as the opportunity for scientific exchange with Evonik’s team of skin product experts will lead to fascinating discoveries together” said Professor Rob Knight, Faculty Director of the CMI. “Our collaboration is already moving at lighting speed, with our first joint project expected to be initiated before the end of the year” he added.

Company information

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The focus on more specialty businesses, customer-oriented innovative prowess and a trustful and performance-oriented corporate culture form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. They are the lever for profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company. Evonik benefits specifically from its customer proximity and leading market positions. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2018, the enterprise with more than 32,000 employees generated sales of €13.3 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.15 billion from continuing operations.

Disclaimer

In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.