PATENT-PROTECTED PROOF-OF-CONCEPT PRE-CLINICAL DATA SETS
Chemosensation is the most ancient and evolutionarily most highly conserved strategy for how living organisms sense their environment. Classically, one thinks of taste (gustation) and smell (olfaction) perception as chemosensation. But we now know that the chemosensory receptors through whose stimulation we taste and smell (taste and olfactory receptors) are not only present in the mouth and nose, but are also present in many other tissues and organs, including in human skin.
Additional signaling mechanisms linked to signalling via TRP ion channels and cannabinoid receptors also operate as transmitters of chemosensory signals. These signals arise from thousands of naturally occurring actives contained e.g. in food, plants, and perfumes – most of which are not classified as drugs and can therefore be worked into cosmetic products and/or food supplements.
Our pioneering research has shown that selected taste, olfactory and cannabinoid receptors as well as TRP ions channels are powerful modulators of human skin and hair function, both under healthy and pathological conditions. Yet, dermatology and cosmetic science have been slow to systematically target these receptors to change human skin and hair functions in a clinically and cosmetically desired manner, using non-drugs that stimulate or inhibit these chemosensory receptors expressed in our skin or hair follicles. CUTANEON strives to harness the full potential of chemosensory skin products.
In this context, the research team of CUTANEON’s founder has made landmark discoveries. For example, they found that the growth of human scalp hair follicles can be stimulated with a simple odorant or pheromones contained in some perfumes and aftershave products (Chéret et al Nat Commun 2018, Mardaryev et al. J Invest Dermatol 2021). Moreover, they provided the first evidence that TRP ion channels and cannabinoid receptors profoundly regulate human hair growth (e.g. Bodó et al. Am J Pathol 2005, Telek et al. FASEB J 2007, Borbíró et al. J Invest Dermatol 2011, Szabó et al. J Invest Dermatol 2019) and even protect human hair follicle stem cells (Sugawara et al. Exp Dermatol 2021).
On this basis, CUTANEON has established a pioneering product development platform that targets ”Chemosensation Skin Biology” with non-drugs (odorants, tastants) that nevertheless exert potent, drug-like effects. Based on hard-core science, these highly innovative and safe agents lead to the development of revolutionary cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals that therapeutically manipulate human hair growth, pigmentation, and/or skin aging.
CUTANEON has already capitalized on its world-leading expertise in chemosensory skin biology and has completed the pre-clinical product development and IP protection stage of several high-end technologies of utmost translational relevance, which build a portfolio of novel cosmeceutical technologies in these areas: hair growth stimulation, inhibition of unwanted hair, modulation of skin pigmentation, and inhibition/reversal of skin aging.
CUTANEON has filed several patent applications, containing both method and use claims, and has been actively prosecuting these claims in multiple countries including, but not limited to, the EU, USA, and Japan.
Technology No.1. – Inhibition on unwanted hair growth
By employing the best available pre-clinical assay system operates with the clinical target organ itself (i.e. organ culture of human scalp hair follicles), CUTANEON discovered that the activation of a bitter taste receptor, TAS2R4, by sweet-tasting natural steviol-glycosides such as rebaudioside A (CUT-1) has profound hair growth-regulatory properties: CUT-1 strongly inhibits human hair growth.
This research demonstrated a novel, drug-free strategy for the therapeutic inhibition of unwanted hair growth by specifically stimulating a well-defined bitter taste receptor.
For details, see our published EP and PCT patents: EP3766545, WO2021/009177.
Technology No.2. – Promotion of hair growth
CUTANEON also revealed that human hair follicles express a special TRP ion channel, called TRPM5 which recognizes, among other molecules, well-known pheromones: stimulating this chemosensory receptor with naturally occurring pheromones (i.e. CUT-2: 2,3 DiMethylPiperazine; CUT-3: 2-Heptanone) prolongs the growth of human scalp hair follicles ex vivo.
Our research pioneers the use of cosmetically applicable pheromones asnovel human hair growth promoters. This promises to be very useful in the drug-free management common hair growth disorders such as androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium.
For details, see our published EP and PCT patents: EP3960150, and WO2022/043171, and Mardaryev et al. J Invest Dermatol 2021)
Technology No.3 – UV-free tanning
“UV-free tanning” so as to achieve sun tan-like skin darkening without the deleterious effects of UV light, which promotes skin aging and skin cancer, has long been attempted by cosmetic industry. CUTANEON has discovered a novel principle for achieving this via targeting two previously unappreciated TRP ion channels that we have found to control human skin pigmentation.
CUTANEON has discovered that the target-specific, topical activation of either of these two TRP ion channels by their respective naturally occurring agonist(s) (CUT-4, CUT-5) greatly upregulates epidermal melanin production and activates epidermal melanocytes.
Corresponding patent applications (EP, PCT) have been submitted and are currently under review.
Technology No.4 – Skin rejuvenation
One of the greatest challenges in cosmetic research is the development of novel and safe products that effectively inhibit skin aging or even promote skin rejuvenation. Most recently, CUTANEON succeeded in identifying specific TRP ion channel agonists that manage to do exactly that.
Namely, by using the best pre-clinical model for skin aging (i.e. human skin organ culture), CUTANEON discovered that a target-specific, activation of one selected TRP ion channel by topical application of its naturally occurring activator (CUT-6) dramatically altered well-established skin aging biomarkers in a manner that indicates profound anti-aging properties.
Corresponding patent applications (EP, PCT) have been submitted and are currently undergoing evaluation.