Scientists at New Zealand-based biotechnology company Quantec Ltd have filed a patent on a new discovery related to acne prevention.
It has discovered its patented ingredient IDP, which was developed by the company in 2009, fights bad bacteria on the skin’s surface while maintaining the health of the skin’s ‘microbiome.’
IDP is sourced from New Zealand cow’s milk.
Quantec made this discovery in 2016 and although the patent has just been filed, the company has used the IDP ingredient within its EPIOLOGY range of acne prevention products since 2014.
Killing the bad bacteria, keeping the good
“The patent we’ve filed relates to the discovery that IDP selectively kills or reduces the growth of disease-causing bacteria without reducing the growth of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms which are essential to maintain healthy skin,” says Quantec managing director Dr Rod Claycomb.
“Both good and bad bacteria live everywhere, on and around us. Collectively, those microorganisms together form what’s called, ‘the microbiome.’ The skin is the largest organ in the human body and has a unique microbiome.
“While most of the time bad bacteria within the microbiome will not cause problems, sometimes the bad bacteria can cause infection. If bad bacteria multiply, they can gain a foothold and can invade other places on the body where it doesn’t normally reside. This is what is happening when you get pimples on your skin,” explains Dr Claycomb.
He says Quantec’s new patentable discovery is great news for acne sufferers, as bad bacteria that are causing problems and infections can be targeted without eliminating the beneficial bacteria which will protect the skin from pathogens and help to maintain healthy skin.
“The microbiome should exist – there should be bacteria on your skin – but the beneficial bacteria should outweigh and control the bad bacteria. With our IDP ingredient, we’re using a scientific control system that was developed by cows in the udder through evolution over thousands of years.
“With each application of EPIOLOGY, the IDP ingredient acts to re-balance the skin’s microbiome to a favourable ecosystem. The result is healthier skin,” Dr Claycomb explains.
Help for acne sufferers
While all acne products target bad bacteria, many also kill the good bacteria and can be harsh on the skin.
Benzoyl peroxide, an oxidising agent, is one of the commonly used topical treatments for acne. It will kill bad bacteria, but it also kills good bacteria, damages skin cells through oxidation, dries out the skin, and will bleach anything it comes into contact with because it’s a harsh chemical.
Oral antibiotics also kill all bacteria – good and bad – and Dr Claycomb says this has led to more people today who are using these drugs to take probiotics which replace the good bacteria in the gut.
Science behind the discovery
In its research leading up to its patent application, Quantec carried out laboratory in vitro studies exploring the growth of different microorganisms. Strains of standard beneficial good bacteria and pathogenic bacteria were grown in broth. IDP was then applied to the bacteria and samples were monitored to measure either its growth or decay.
Dr Claycomb says it’s an exciting new scientific development that proves yet another unique property of the company’s IDP ingredient.
“Globally, scientists are latching onto the idea of balancing good and bad bacteria within the microbiome being important to overall health and wellbeing. There is evidence that many conditions, diseases and other aspects of human health are influenced by the balance of the microbiome.
“For companies like Quantec, it’s absolutely critical that we have a greater understanding of the microbiome and have products available to market that treat particular health issues, while maintaining good health and looking after the good bacteria. Balancing the microbiome is the way forward in the medical and health space,” Dr Claycomb says.
“Quantec recognises we must build a body of scientific evidence before our claims have validity. Dermatologists we work with need strong science behind the products they recommend to their clients to use. They like to understand the mechanisms of how this works and this patent gives Quantec another piece of scientific data that supports our EPIOLOGY products containing IDP as proven for acne prevention.”
EPIOLOGY was launched by Quantec in 2014. It is sold through New Zealand pharmacies. The largest export market for the product is Mexico, where it is sold through dermatologists. The product is also sold online and has been distributed to customers in many countries worldwide over the past three years.