Equateq targets cosmetics industry with fatty acid ingredient

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Lipid manufacturer Equateq is looking to pastures new with a topical fatty acid that shows anti-inflammatory action.

This is the first time the Scotland-based company is targeting the cosmetics industry and it hopes the omega-6 fatty acid, DGLA, will be a hit with formulators looking for anti-inflammatory ingredients.

DGLA part of anti-inflammatory cascade

DGLA (dihomogamma-linolenic acid) occurs naturally in the body as a precursor to eicosanoids, hormone-like substances with anti-inflammatory functions.

For this reason the synthetic DGLA, marketed by Equateq as EQT-101, could be used in topical formulations designed to treat conditions like psoriasis, eczema, acne and atopic dermatitis, explained CEO Adam Kelliher.

“Cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies, or anyone interested in the business of smooth healthy skin, will grasp the potential of DGLA,”​ he said.

Until now, DGLA has not been available in commercial quantities and those wishing to activate the anti-inflammatory cascade did so by increasing levels of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) which is then converted in the body to DGLA, explained Adrian Hughes from Equateq.

Now, EQT-101 allows formulators to skip this step and directly manipulate levels of the eicosanoid precursor, he said.

Although the ingredient has been available to researchers in very small quantities, the company claim this is the first time this omega-6 fatty acid is available at high purity levels in commercial quantities.

“There is a lot of wizardry involved in this, as my team have essentially mimicked processes from within the human body in order to deliver DGLA in a super-pure form,”​ said Kelliher.

Pharmaceutical grade

In addition, the company’s facilities have been certified as GMP by the British health regulatory authority the MHRA, allowing it to target the pharmaceutical industry as well as cosmetics formulators.

The product is the first to come out of its lipid synthesis programme, located in the Western Isles of Scotland.

“It is a magnificent first result, and we expect to be announcing characterisation of several other lipid active pharmaceutical ingredients in the months and years to come”, ​said Kelliher.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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