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Sederma Invests in Synthetic Biology for Cosmetic Actives

Denise Gabriele, VP-sales & marketing, Sederma, Inc., explains its benefits and how it can help reduce the industry’s overall impact on nature.

Released By Sederma

Sederma Invests in Synthetic Biology for Cosmetic Actives

For nearly six decades, Sederma has been one of the world leaders in creating and producing cosmetic active ingredients. A multinational supplier to the global beauty industry, Sederma develops and produces ingredients coming from chemistry, as well as fermentation and plant cell culture. Many of Sederma’s ingredients are derived from plants and microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, microalgae, fungi.

For the past several years, Sederma has invested in synthetic biology, a combination of biology, bioinformatics and engineering. Sederma is part of Croda International, Plc.

Happi recently spoke with Denise Gabriele, vice president, sales & marketing, Sederma, Inc., to learn more about synthetic biology and its uses in skin care and other personal care products.



Happi:  Why synthetic biology?
Gabriele: Sederma’s focuses are multiple, and mainly related to sustainability and how we can use “Smart science to improve lives,” as stated by Croda’s purpose. With this in mind, we are working to reach some specific targets and the targets fixed by Croda to be Climate, Land and People positive by 2030.

Innovation is part of our DNA. We’ve created some of the most well-known and efficacious ingredient in the industry, some of which come from chemistry, like our peptides, and others are from nature through extraction processes, biotechnologies, such as fermentation and plant cell culture. We are driven by sustainability and how we can improve our practices to reduce our environmental impact. Our goal with synthetic biology is to develop production alternatives for some molecules that are currently made by chemistry. To sum up, what we expect from this nature-based high technology is to develop a new approach of augmented biology.


Happi: What do your customers want from this technology? What do consumers expect from this technology?
Gabriele: Many of our customers, as well as consumers, are concerned with sustainability and are looking for eco-friendly, natural derived ingredients. For the cometic industry, this technology can provide more sustainable ingredient solutions to fulfil their needs. It can even allow for the production of new innovative molecules. Nature is amazing and produces molecules that are very difficult to synthesize by chemistry. Even if we don’t want to replace all the chemistry, our objective is to use the best technology to reduce our overall impact on nature.


Happi: What are the specific sustainability benefits of synthetic biology?
Gabriele: They are obviously numerous! First, synthetic biology is an alternative to chemical synthesis enabling us to avoid the use of solvents, undesired residual molecules. It also allows the synthesis of molecules that can’t be produced by organic chemistry. So, the goal with synthetic biology is to develop production alternatives for some molecules that are currently made by chemistry. It can also help us improve some of the processes, save time, improve yields, and reduce some consumption and costs.


Happi: What materials or classes of materials look most promising for synthetic biology and why?
Gabriele: Synthetic biology can be used to develop many useful systems for humans, such as therapeutics, biofuels and in our case, cosmetic active ingredients.

This pure innovation would enable tailor-made bioproduction of recombinant proteins and peptides, antioxidants, pigments, UV filters, biomaterials, polysaccharides, with new and/or optimized abilities. The possibilities are limitless!

Synthetic biology is a combination between biology, bio-informatics and engineering. The principle is to build and develop biological systems that do not exist in nature, or re-build existing systems by modifying them. The concept is to use (bio) bricks that are standardized and able to be put together to fulfil a function.


Happi: Has Sederma launched any ingredients created via biotechnology?
Gabriele: We have not yet launched any products from this technology, but plan to soon. We applied this mindset to two current projects: peptide and ceramide production. Sederma has so far invested five years working on synthetic biology. The developments are on-going. As we work with living organisms, nature can sometimes be difficult to work with. Some of the projects are close to industrial scale-up and we expect to launch a product, from this augmented nature technology, within a couple of years.


About Denise Gabriele
Denise Gabriele is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Sederma, Inc., the bioactive division of Croda International Plc. She has more than 30 years of experience in the cosmetic industry, and over 25 years in selling and marketing active ingredients. Denise holds a BS in chemistry. She has gone from cosmetic chemist to quality assurance manager, to start and head up the US Subsidiary of Sederma, SAS, specializing in bioactive cosmetic raw materials. Over the years she has acquired various insights and knowledge pertaining to many different aspects of the cosmetic business, and along with her amazing technical, sales and marketing team, utilizes her insights and customer relations to help make Sederma’s ingredients some of the most recognized and sought-after in the cosmetic industry.

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