The Michigan-based firm will work with Yale’s Dr. John Pawelek with the long-term research goal to better understand human skin pigmentation disorders, including hyperpigmentation, and develop innovative, safe and effective therapies for these hard-to-treat and often psychologically painful conditions.
Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that results in non-uniform coloration of the face and hands and can be caused by sun damage, inflammation or other skin injuries, such as acne.
Difficult to treat
"Hyperpigmentation is difficult to treat, especially in dark-skinned individuals," explained Dr. Pawelek.
"If in-vitro models could be used to screen for potential inhibitors of pigmentation, this would represent a large step forward toward the development of truly effective treatments for this emotionally and socially challenging skin condition."
According to Amway, people with darker skin tones, including Asian, Mediterranean and African populations, are more prone to hyperpigmentation.
The condition has been shown to have a considerable psychological impact on sufferers and although several therapies are available, potentially significant side-effects have been associated with these treatments.
Develop new products to meet demands
Amway will use the agreement to try to understand and in-turn better develop its products to meet these specific demands.
"Through our partnership, we hope to identify new technologies to enhance the performance of our Artistry whitening products," stated Catherine Ehrenberger, vice president, R&D and Quality Assurance for Amway.
"We are looking forward to continuing our commitment to providing high-quality products that help women achieve their desired complexions."
Skin cancer research led by Dr. Pawelek has helped identify several novel aspects of the cell biology of melanocytes, the cells that synthesize the pigment melanin.
Amway claims it has entered into the agreement with Yale University with the intent to research and expand on these findings jointly.
Initial research will focus on determining whether the unique cell biology of melanoctyes from human melanoma biopsy samples is also present in experimental models, including cell and tissue cultures.