King’s to develop unique sunscreen with Aethic
11 September 2012
King’s College London has entered into an agreement with skincare company Aethic to develop the first sunscreen based on MAA’s (mycosporine-like amino acids), produced by coral.
It was last year that a team led by Dr Paul Long at King’s discovered how the naturally-occurring MAA’s were produced. Algae living within coral make a compound that is transported to the coral, which then modifies it into a sunscreen for the benefit of both the coral and the algae. Not only does this protect them both from UV damage, but fish that feed on the coral also benefit from this sunscreen protection.
The next phase of development is for the researchers to work with Professor Antony Young and colleagues at the St John’s Institute of Dermatology at King’s, to test the efficacy of the compounds using human skin models.
Aethic’s Sôvée sunscreen was selected as the best ‘host’ product for the compound because of its existing broad-spectrum UVA/UVB and photo-stability characteristics and scientifically proven ecocompatibility credentials.
Dr Paul Long, Reader in Pharmacognosy at King’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, said: “While MAA’s have a number of other potential applications, human sunscreen is certainly a good place to begin proving the compound’s features. If our further studies confirm the results we are expecting, we hope that we will be able to develop a sunscreen with the broadest spectrum of protection. Aethic has the best product and philosophy with which to proceed this exciting project.”
Allard Marx, CEO of Aethic, added: “With the recent launch of Sôvée we believe that we are already leading the industry. Together with King’s we would like to raise our product benefits to an even higher level using MAA’s. We are very excited about the potential.”
For further information on the research behind the MAA compound, please visit the King’s website
About King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 30 universities in the world (2011/12 QS World University Rankings), and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has nearly 23,500 students (of whom more than 9,000 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries, and some 6,000 employees. King’s is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King’s Health Partners. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world’s leading research-led universities and three of London’s most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit:www.kingshealthpartners.org.
About Aethic – www.aethic.com
Aethic is a new UK skincare company committed to ensuring that what is good for skin is also good for nature. Its first eco-compatible product Aethic Sôvée has been extensively tested by the sunscreen ingredients and marine science leaders at the Life and Environmental Sciences department of Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy.
Eco-compatible is a step further than Biodegradable or the vague eco-friendly. Biodegradable sunscreens may degrade, decompose and dilute in the water but their constituent molecules often still do irreparable damage by triggering viruses usually dormant in marine life forms. An eco-compatible product is ‘part of nature’ and is tested to prove that it does no such damage.
Aethic Sôvée is certified marine positive by virtue of its virtually zero water pollution acquatrail and ultra-offsetting contribution to The Going Blue Foundation.