The Gene Facelift plasmid uses a DNA-based blueprint for the growth factor, which tells skin cells to make more collagen and divide faster; keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) has been used in preclinical wound healing and cosmetics studies and has shown skin re-growth and remodelling in mouse and pig models.
After the application of this DNA blueprint to skin cells, the blueprint is taken by the cells and growth factor is made internally. The growth factor itself is a DNA-based keratinocyte, which is found naturally in the human body but declines with age.
According to the company, this would have the effect of increased collagen, elastin and thicker epidermis and dermis as well as an increased cell proliferation rate. Additionally, they claim to have seen a doubling, even tripling in skin thickness in just 72 hours of a single treatment.
“A genetic cosmetic for anti-aging is just our first step and we are pursuing multiple pathways simultaneously. … When we first started developing the drug, none of us imagined it would have such a regenerative effect”, said Dr Aaron Tabor, Gene Facelift.
The plasmid will be manufactured at Aldevron for clinical studies as well as for future commercial production, who will use HyperGRO fermentation technology from NTC which the company believes will enable high yield, economical DNA production.
Designed to comply with FDA and European regulatory guidance, currently, the drug is in a gel carrier for easily controlled application to the skin, which allows precise control over where the DNA is being applied.
Being developed for clinical trials at the moment, the general timeline for such dermatology products being ready to market is three to four years, despite Gene Facelift being unable to predict when the drug would be available to the public.