Skin penetration is a major challenge to cosmetic, dermatological and medical companies while they formulate topical medicines. The molecules of these creams and ointments which are expected to provide unbelievable results may backfire in the in-vivo test because of their inability to penetrate the various layers of the skin to reach the target layer. Bicosome, founded in 2012 by a group of scientists specialised in the study of the skin tissue, has developed a skin biological transporter called Bicosome that penetrates the skin using natural carrier agents. Lucyanna Barbosa Barros, CEO of Bicosome explains, “The Bicosome is a lipid technology that resembles the epidermal lamellar bodies of the skin in structure and function, being able to interact with the skin tissue gently and target specific skin layers to deliver molecules where they need to work. This ensures an effective and gentle treatment of the skin.” This is in contrast to other treatments that in order to achieve skin penetration use surfactants, alcohols, and other harsh substances or even physical tools like microneedles that can damage the cutaneous tissue.
As per Lucyanna, the rise of skin problems and increasing occurrences of sensitive skin can sometimes be related to the use of inappropriate carrier agents. An inefficient carrier agent is unable to deliver the active ingredient in its entirety to the targeted layer of skin. To prevent this, the carrier agent is overloaded with the active ingredient, which gets left behind on its path. This excess of actives in the skin may cause irritation and induce short- and medium-term skin sensitivity. “Our unique formulation does not require overloading as both the carrier and the molecule being delivered follow an innovative biomimetic mechanism imitating the skin's natural processes,” Lucyanna explains.
Our unique formulation does not require overloading as both the carrier and the molecule being delivered follow an innovative biomimetic mechanism imitating the skin's natural processes
Bicosome caters to a variety of skin and hair requirements. Bicosome® FS, the enterprise’s biomimetic filler with 7 days long lasting effects, seeks to rebuild the skin’s structure that is defective in some medical and cosmetic conditions. Bicosome looks beyond the commonly observed issue of skin damage by the sun, focussing on surface protection. Their sun repair and protection system, Bicotene® Complex, aims to repair the damage caused by ultraviolet, infrared and blue light radiations to the second layer of the skin, the epidermis, in which reactive oxigen species are mainly formed. Lucyanna elucidates, “As the sun damages more than the surface layer of skin, our product acts as a biological sun protector to reverse the harm caused below the surface.” The company’s hyperpigmentation product, Bicowhite® is a complex of bicosomes that work on the five main steps leading the formation of dark spots, being effective even under UV radiation, whereas Bicomide® Sebum Control targets the follicles regulating sebum production at source and helps to reduce surface bacteria and decrease pore sizes in the oily and acne-prone skin. The newly released hairline products, composed by Bicohair® Anti Urban Pollution and Bicohair® Heat Protection, round up their set of six products.
Another major area of interest for Bicosome is the treatment of chronic skin diseases. Many chronic skin diseases involve a disorganisation of the structure of the skin lipid matrix, a kind of cement that fills the intercellular spaces of the skin being responsible of the correct functionality of the skin as barrier. In these cases Bicosomes are especially valuable, since the bicosome’s own structure after delivering the molecules is incorporated in the skin lipid matrix, filling and repairing these defects during the treatment. Examples of these chronic diseases are dermatitis, psoriasis, xerosis and many others. In these conditions both content (molecule) and container (bicosome structure) are fully active. The enterprise had a major breakthrough when their medication helped in reducing, or preventing altogether, the development of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and reducing scars in initial tests. The patient feedback for Bicosome’s product for chronic skin diseases has been overwhelming, opening up a new avenue for the company.
From the launch of the first product, Bicosome FS, in 2014, Bicosome has grown by leaps and bounds. The company has consistently launched at least one product each year since then and has two product launches planned for the upcoming year. “We have a network of distributors in Europe and the U.S. and a global presence in 25 countries,” says Lucyanna. Bicosome, which is focusing on developing partnerships in Asia and Latin America, also plans to enter into the medical device business.