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28 Dec

L’Oréal Takes Minority Stake in French Biotech Company Microphyt

PARIS — L’Oréal is expanding its reach into the green sciences by taking a minority stake in Microphyt, a French biotech company, to develop recent cosmetic solutions.

The investment was made through Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, or BOLD, the group’s enterprise capital fund.

L’Oréal and Microphyt are starting to work together on progressive lively ingredients to open recent beauty territories, based on Anne Colonna, head of advanced research at L’Oréal.

“We’re going to put all of the progressive power of Microphyt, including the actives they have already got, with all the ability of L’Oréal to judge each the efficacy and the security, and to formulate,” she said. “We actually need to synergize to go one step further.”

One other goal with the partnership is to assist L’Oréal reach the group’s 2030 sustainable development engagements, respecting planetary boundaries.

Microphyt, which was founded in 2007, is predicated in Baillargues, France. The corporate has developed a low-carbon process to provide microalgae, which is used for his or her functional qualities and lively properties in cosmetics.

Microphyt’s process is patented and produces the biggest varieties of microalgae anywhere across the globe using a controlled method and with a big scale, based on L’Oréal. Microphyt’s integrated platform transforms microalgae into natural and renewable ingredients.

Together, L’Oréal and Microphyt plan to construct a technical platform and mix material and human resources to create microalgae biomass-derived raw materials. Those should then result in recent cosmetic solutions.

“Our ambition is to collaborate internationally with essentially the most disruptive scientific entities in green sciences, as a way to collectively develop responsible innovations on a big scale and make them available to as many individuals as possible,” said Barbara Lavernos, deputy chief executive officer in command of research, innovation and technology at L’Oréal, in an announcement released Tuesday evening.

She added the partnership “will enable us, because of its unique natural solutions derived from microalgae, to further speed up our drive toward more sustainable beauty.”

Vincent Usache, managing director of Microphyt, said the partnership with L’Oréal “is fully consistent with Microphyt’s ambition to provide the biggest number of individuals access to natural solutions drawn from microalgae.”

“The technological platform in an ‘prolonged lab’ mode is perfectly complementary to our own activities,” he continued. “With L’Oréal, this recent technological platform will help us speed up the event of eco-designed ingredients, in addition to facilitate the scale-up of our production.”

In 2019, Microphyt raised 28.5 million euros, a fundraising round said to be amongst the biggest within the microalgae sector. Subsequently, Microphyt sped up the event and marketing of natural ingredients from the nutrition and cosmetics realms.

L’Oréal’s internal advanced research team is empowered by external partners, comparable to Microphyt, and dedicated to green sciences.

Green sciences span “from the way in which we cultivate our ingredients, to biotech, to green chemistry, which is the way in which we produce and we transform our ingredients, including eco-conceived ways to formulate our products,” Colonna said.

“Why is that so critical?” she continued. “Considered one of our commitments is 95 percent of our ingredients shall be bio-sourced, derived from abundant minerals or circular processes by 2030. And for that, we want to change the way in which we create, we conceive our ingredients, our raw materials.”

Today, 60 percent of L’Oréal’s ingredients have reached that goal.

Microalgae is strategic for L’Oréal for the reason that company naturally synthesizes “extraordinary” components to be used in cosmetics, Colonna said. Microalgae can generate some pigments in makeup or lively ingredients, comparable to antioxidants, for instance.

“What could be very interesting is the way in which they produce it,” she said, explaining microalgae use light and CO2 from air for energy, so it’s possible to sustainably scale up ingredients sourced from them.

L’Oréal has forged quite a few scientific partnerships linked to green sciences. Last January, as an illustration, the group linked up with Verily, a precision health company, to push the boundaries of skin health.

Others include tie-ups with the National Institute for Materials Sciences in Japan, the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering and the Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères in Bordeaux, France.

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