EpigenCare, a personalised skin care technology startup, announced on 4th April that it had won the Johnson & Johnson Innovation competition for cutting-edge skin care technologies.
Johnson & Johnson, the multinational consumer packaged goods manufacturing company, launched its innovation arm to identify progressive and forward-thinking digital beauty solutions. With a particular focus on personalisation items, it was set up to help consumers make better-informed decisions when it comes to their skin care routines.
Science in skin care
Recently presenting at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (JLABS) open innovation ecosystem in South San Francisco, CA, William Lee, CEO and co-founder at EpigenCare's explored epigenetics, blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI) insights.
These leading trends in science and technology come at time, as Lee stated, when consumers are unaware of the true efficacy of skin care products, and when static genetic variants in current personal genomic tests cannot be modified by product ingredients.
Focusing on epigenetics, blockchain and AI, Lee discussed an epigenetics-related solution that works by identifying a gene function’s level of activity or inactivity.
New test to market
Based in New York, the personal epigenomics and digital biotechnology company is preparing to launch its direct-to-consumer skin care test later in 2018. This is able to capture the current state of an individual’s skin profile by sequencing for epigenetic markers. These markers are then related to a variety of quality indicators including ageing, elasticity, moisture and pigmentation.
EpigenCare has adopted a complementary digital platform that unites the skin care company's customisable products via a matching algorithm. This calculates the ideal skin care solution by exploring the ingredient's epigenetic intervention on the tested markers and their functional pathways.
The US company will utilise blockchain technology to govern data responsibly, which will show consumers how their data is tracked. “This will drastically mitigate the perceived intrusiveness often associated with personal tests involving DNA, which consumers will self-collect directly on their own skin through a non-invasive adhesive method,” EpigenCare stated in a recent press release.
It will also utilise machine learning by using epigenetic data as a scientifically grounded training source. This is then combined with photo imaging of skin in order to develop an artificial intelligence-based personalisation method.
"It is clear that Johnson & Johnson Innovation actively supports new technologies through its open innovation model. We intend to use this victory to continue our momentum in realising a truly personalised skincare solution,” commented William Lee, CEO and co-founder at EpigenCare.
As a result of winning the QuickFire Challenge, EpigenCare was awarded up to $50,000 in grants, along with access to experts and mentorship, and residency for up to one year at a JLABS location for product testing with consumers at the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Experience Center (CxC).