The venture will see Anglo-Dutch company combine with US-based Ampere’s Digital Biology platform, which focuses on using antioxidants as a means of fighting the body’s natural aging process.
Unilever says the antioxidant technology is likely to be used across the board in its product formula, which could see it being used in products as widespread as its Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream brand, which would position it in the fast growing beauty from within category.
Antioxidants are substances known to protect the body’s cells by the damage caused by unstable molecules such as free radicals, which are thought to be a part of the natural aging process.
Antioxidants key to anti-aging?
For anti-aging purposes, products containing antioxidants take a variety of forms, principally in supplements and foods aimed at the beauty from within market, as well as the complete spectrum of anti-wrinkle creams and lotions.
Leading Unilever personal care brands include Axe and Dove, which could well see the technology being incorporated into formulations, particularly for skin care and more specifically anti-aging facial care products.
The deal between Unilever and Ampere Life Sciences ensures exclusive rights to Unilever for the use of the technology for a period of five years and will involve the co-operation of Unilever research and development team members on a global basis.
Combining R&D capabilities
The work will begin between the two companies with immediate effect, Unilever confirmed.
“This deal is an example of Unilever’s approach to open innovation, partnering scientists from outside Unilever with specific biotech assets and knowledge with our own in-house science and development experts based on our six core laboratories worldwide,” said Unilever chief R&D officer Genevieve Berger.
Berger went on to add that the partnership aims to develop products in a range of product categories that will have a competitive edge in the global marketplace.