Due to increased hygiene (since the 1950’s) and misuse of antibiotics, our immune system got out of balance (=old friends hypothesis) [REFs] . This has led to a dramatic increase in auto-immune diseases and antibiotic resistance and has negatively impacted our skin health. YUN is building a new era based on the benefits of a healthy skin microbiome.
We are specialized in probiotherapy, the application of beneficial microorganisms to improve skin conditions. By protecting and strengthening the natural flora and adding nature’s friendly bacteria, YUN created effective solutions for common skin conditions such as acne, athlete’s foot, and sensitive skin. We are pioneers in the field, as we developed a first-ever methodology to apply live bacteria on the skin by a micro-encapsulation technique (thanks to partnerships with leading scientists and by securing multiple R&D grants). This has resulted in a first series of natural, safe and effective microbiome-safe products of which our hero-product is an effective non-prescription treatment of acne.
“We are starting to realise that there are lots of friendly bacteria that actually make us healthier. For example by restoring our intestinal microbiome or stimulating our intestinal transit. More recently, research has shifted its focus to the skin. It showed us that regular preservatives in skin care products kill bacteria, including the friendly ones we so desperately need. In order to avoid this we’ve developed a number of alternative processes and formulations. Thanks to, among other, microcapsules we are able to keep our bacteria in a watery state for a long period of time, for example in a skin cream. The bacteria are kept in a dormant state, without being killed or losing their effectiveness. Only when they come into contact with skin do they become active again.”
Prof. Sarah Lebeer (Prof UA, bio-engineer in the cell and gene technology)
SCIENTIFIC MILESTONE: TOPICAL PROBIOTICS TO REDUCE ANTIBIOTIC USE IN ACNE
In collaboration with the University of Antwerp (Laboratory of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology – prof. Sarah Lebeer – Scientific Advisory Board YUN & Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy – prof. Filip Kiekens) and the University Hospital of Antwerp (prof. Julien Lambert – Dermatology), we are proud to share are (our) scientific breakthroughs with the whole world.
In short: (i) by bio-informatical analysis of publicly available metagenomic data and 16s rRNA data from our own study, we confirmed the presence of lactobacilli on healthy human skin (ii) We performed a rational in vitro screening, to select three probiotic strains specific for acne application, Lactobacillus rhamnosus YUN-S1.0, Lactobacillus pentosus YUN-V1.0 and Lactobacillus plantarum YUN-V2.0. The screening platform was based on essential criteria for safety, applicability and functionality. (iii) Through a new patented micro-encapsulation technique, we were able to make an oil-in-water cream which contains a sufficient dosage of our live probiotic lactobacilli for up to 6 months at 25 °C. (iv) A proof-of-concept open label clinical trial (clinicaltrials.gov – NCT03469076) was performed demonstrating significant reduction of both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions after 4 weeks of treatment with the topical probiotic cream and a reduction of pathobionts Cutibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus spp.
Microbiome is ‘the next big thing’:
“There is an ever-increasing frenzy surrounding microbiome and more specifically probiotics. This is largely fueled by surging scientific and public interest in the human microbiome: the market segments of pharmabiotics and probiotics are rapidly growing, driven by the increasing scientific focus and efficacy , particularly gut probiotics and digestive wellbeing. For example, the probiotics market is expected to garner €47.7 billion by 2022, registering a CAGR of 7.7% (2016-2022). Further, there is an emerging customer recognition and demand for safe OTC products with added benefits, resulting in increasing funding for genomics companies.
World’s first – Encapsulation technology to formulate ‘live’ bacteria in a water-containing cream for topical skin application. The micro-encapsulation technology used in the YUN ACN and ACN+ Cream has been developed in-house. With this technology, YUN tackled the issue of developing topical water-based applications with a sufficient dosage of ‘live’ beneficial bacteria. While the concept of using beneficial or ‘probiotic’ bacteria for specific skin conditions perfectly fits with current knowledge on the skin microbiome, research progression and redemption of the full potential was impaired because of this technological issue. YUN’s microencapsulation technology provides a solution for further research and valorisation of the full potential of topically applied beneficial bacteria.