30 October 2018
Frontier IP, a specialist in commercialising university intellectual property, today announces it is taking a 25 per cent. stake in Des Solutio (the “Company”), a company developing safer and greener alternatives to the chemicals currently used to make beauty, pharmaceutical, personal care and other products.
The Company has been established to develop and commercialise the research of Associate Professor Ana Rita Duarte and Dr Alexandre Paiva, of Portugal’s NOVA University Lisbon, NOVA School of Science and Technology (“FCT NOVA”).
Their research has already attracted interest from several major industrial groups, including a world-leading cosmetics company and a major pharmaceutical company. In return for its stake, Frontier IP will provide Des Solutio with a broad range of commercialisation services, including contract negotiation and identifying and working with potential industry partners to validate and scale up the technology.
Des Solutio is developing new methods to use Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents (“NADES”) in cosmetics, nutraceuticals and other applications, to replace toxic organic solvents, such as ethanol, employed currently. Solvents are commonly used in a wide range of industries to extract active ingredients from natural matrices, such as olive oil, mint or seaweed to flavour and scent their products, and enhance the shelf-life and stability of the bioactives.
NADES offer many benefits over existing solvents. Found in a vast range of plants, and so compliant with a green chemistry philosophy, they are entirely derived from natural compounds such as organic acids, amino acids and sugars.
As there are a vast range of NADES already identified, they can be matched to specific active ingredients to extract only what is needed. There is no need to recover an active ingredient from a NADES, unlike conventional solvents, some of which are too toxic for use on skin or in foods.
Other advantages of the technology include improved solubility, permeability and bioavailability of the active compounds, better biodegradability than many organic solvents and greener production processes.
The incorporation of Des Solutio is a further sign of Frontier IP’s growing momentum in Portugal. It is the Group’s second spin out from FCT NOVA following NTPE, a company developing novel technology to print electronic circuits, sensors and semiconductors on to paper. The Group recently entered into a strategic partnership with the UK government’s Department for International Trade in Portugal.
Des Solutio co-founder, Associate Professor Ana Rita Duarte said: “We’re delighted to be working with Frontier IP on developing and bringing this ground-breaking science into the commercial world. NADES have huge potential for making a host of everyday products greener and saferfor people to use.”
Frontier IP chief executive Neil Crabb said: “We’re very excited about the possibilities for Des Solutio. The technology being developed by Professor Ana Rita Duarte and Dr Alexandre Paiva has already attracted interest from major multinationals. Its incorporation as our second Portuguese spin out is further sign of our growing strength in the country.”