BASF invests in US-based tech start-up 3Helix collagen-hybridizing peptide

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

"For BASF, we have gained an exciting business partner with cutting-edge technology that can help us develop the next generation of CHP-based cosmetic products," said Allison Garlet, Marketing Manager, Bioactives Personal Care North America, BASF Corporation. © Zero Creatives Getty Images
"For BASF, we have gained an exciting business partner with cutting-edge technology that can help us develop the next generation of CHP-based cosmetic products," said Allison Garlet, Marketing Manager, Bioactives Personal Care North America, BASF Corporation. © Zero Creatives Getty Images

Related tags BASF Collagen Personal care

The investment agreement allows for more intensive research and development, the rights to exclusively commercialize the tech innovation for the personal care market, and a place for BASF on 3Helix, Inc.'s Board of Directors.

BASF has announced its investment in US-based tech start-up 3Helix Inc., including an innovation partnership for 3Helix's proprietary collagen-hybridizing peptide (CHP) technology. As part of the investment deal, the partnership involves "an equity investment and licensing agreement, granting BASF exclusive rights to commercialize CHP solutions for the personal care market​," shared BASF's recent press release.

To learn more about BASF's investment in 3Helix, Inc., including the strategy behind the partnership, the technology's potential for industry innovation in the collagen peptide space, and the overall industry impact of the investment opportunity, CosmeticsDesign spoke to Allison Garlet, Marketing Manager, Bioactives Personal Care North America, BASF Corporation for her insights.

Investment partnership strategy

BASF's investment in 3Helix, Inc. and the agreement for BASF to join the company's Board of Directors "comes after successful research and development of their patented collagen hybridizing peptide (CHP) technology​," Garlet shared. 3Helix's CHP technology is the partnership's focus, and the agreement named BASF as "the exclusive commercialization partner to bring this innovation to maturity and make it available to customers globally​," she explained.

The business relationship is mutually beneficial, she continued, and it "means that 3Helix not only has additional capital to further develop their technology, but also access to BASF's vast repository of scientific and business expertise and resources to further the commercialization of the CHP technology​," she said. Further, she added, "for BASF, we have gained an exciting business partner with cutting-edge technology that can help us develop the next generation of CHP-based cosmetic products​."

With this licensing agreement in place, Garlet explained, "we expect that BASF's financial, scientific, and product innovation resources will allow 3Helix to further refine and perfect their CHP technology​," as "3Helix is looking to develop the CHP technology for multiple areas of application including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics​."

About the technology innovation

The CHP technology is poised to innovate the collagen peptide space in cosmetics and personal care products as "collagen peptides have gained significant attention in recent years due to their numerous health benefits and applications​," shared Garlet. Widely used in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries, BASF and 3Helix are working to innovate the collagen peptide space in multiple ways.

One specific area of innovation, Garlet explained, is for "researchers and manufacturers [who] can explore new ways to extract and produce collagen peptides, improving their quality, purity, and bioavailability​." 

Another area of innovation is for "scientists [who] can further understand the mechanisms of collagen peptides and their effects on the human body, leading to the development of more targeted and effective products​," she shared further.

"Overall​," she said, "innovation can lead to the development of new collagen-based products and formulations, expanding their potential applications​." 

For finished products, the suitability of the new CHP ingredient "depends on its specific properties and applications​," she added. Currently, "collagen peptides are commonly used in a variety of finished products due to their unique properties​, she said. For example, "in the cosmetics and personal care products, collagen peptides are often used in skincare creams, lotions, serums, and masks to support healthy collagen levels, promote soft, supple skin, and reduce visible signs of aging​," she explained. 

However, she shared, "3Helix's patented CHP technology is unique in that it is based on short, single-stranded collagen-like peptides that have the ability to bind directly to damaged and denatured collagen​." Therefore, "BASF intends to bring the first bioactive, cosmetic ingredient – based on CHP technology – to the market in 2025​," she stated. 

The new technology "is the first platform that takes advantage of the difference in the 3D structure between damaged and healthy collagen, allowing CHPs to target, localize and bind to areas with damage​," and as a result, "use of this technology in cosmetic products should result in more dynamic claims with respect to the way that collagen supports healthy skin​," she determined. 

Next steps

Moving forward, it is clear there is great potential and mutual benefit to the investment in CHP technology, and "we at BASF are excited to be working with 3Helix -- their professionals and their technology -- to advance and bring to market innovative cosmetic products based on their unique CHP platform​, "said Garlet. About the partnership, she succinctly concluded, "the possibilities are endless​."                          

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