AUSTIN, Texas, March 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- L'Oréal today announced a partnership between its Technology Incubator and Silicon Valley-based uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, to continue its longtime research into skin microbiome—the trillions of bacteria that live on, and provide an important barrier to, your skin. This collaboration bridges L'Oréal's expertise in the science of skincare with uBiome's leadership in microbiome research. Through this partnership, the two companies intend to conduct new research on the skin's bacterial ecosystem, with a goal of offering deeper skin insights to uBiome's global community while informing future product development at L'Oréal.
"When it comes to skincare, people often audition product after product to determine what works for their unique skin. At L'Oréal, our goal is to advance scientific research and leverage new technologies to change this relationship, by allowing deeper levels of personalization," said Guive Balooch, Vice President of L'Oréal's Technology Incubator, an arm of L'Oréal's Research & Innovation Division. "The microbiome has major implications for skin's overall appearance and health. With the global reach of uBiome's community of citizen scientists, our two companies will be able to extend our respective research in this space, and better understand the interplay between bacterial diversity and skin health."
The importance of the skin microbiome
The microbiome is an ecosystem of trillions of microbes living in and on our bodies. It consists of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that can be beneficial to human health. Each unique area of the body has its own microbiome. The human skin, our body's largest organ, is home to roughly 1,000 species of bacteria. The microbial balance affects skin health and appearance; imbalance can contribute to skin concerns including acne, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Additionally, skin microbiome can regulate body odor and change with aging.
"So many clues about our overall health come from the amazing world of microorganisms," said Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. "L'Oréal is an ideal partner for uBiome as it has had a strong focus in scientific innovation in this space for years. Their expertise, combined with uBiome's advanced understanding of the skin microbiome will allow us to pave the way for the future of personalized skin care."
L'Oréal's legacy of skin microbiome research
L'Oréal began exploring the skin microbiome over a decade ago and has published 50 papers on the subject since 2006. L'Oréal's findings include the link between microbiome, skin barrier function, and immune responses as well as the evolution of the microbiome on aging skin. This collective research has contributed to the launch of several skincare products across L'Oréal's Active Cosmetics Division—including the brands La Roche-Posay and Vichy—since 2013.
"In the past several years, L'Oréal's research into skin microbiome has accelerated thanks to new genomic technologies and big data analysis," says Luc Aguilar, a research director in L'Oréal's Research and Innovation division. "A major finding from our research shows that skin disorders, much like gut ones, are often linked to a problem of microbial imbalance. Good proportions of each microorganism are key to ensuring skin health."
uBiome's industry-leading microbial research
uBiome, which was founded in 2012 by Stanford-, Oxford-, and UCSF-educated researchers, uses advanced technology to analyze human microbiome. The company, which has the world's largest database of human microbiomes, has seven issued patents and 250 pending patents. uBiome's platform, which includes four kits designed for at-home sampling—SmartGut™, the world's first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test; SmartJane™, the first sequencing-based women's health screening test; and Explorer™ and Explorer Plus™, a health and wellness product to understand the role that food and lifestyle can play in wellness—has been used by hundreds of thousands of consumers, patients, and doctors and more than 200 research institutions around the world, including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Harvard University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Francisco, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney.
The partnership between the two companies will be introduced at L'Oréal's "Know Your Skin" exhibit at The Fast Company Grill in Austin, Texas, between March 8th and 11th, 2019. Guive Balooch of L'Oréal and Jessica Richman of uBiome will be answering questions on-site at the exhibit, which also features L'Oréal personalized skincare innovations including My Skin Track UV and My Skin Track pH by La Roche-Posay, Custom D.O.S.E by SkinCeuticals, and an on-site skincare experience with Kiehl's.
L'Oréal has devoted itself to beauty for over 100 years. With its unique international portfolio of 36 diverse and complementary brands, the Group generated sales amounting to 26.9 billion euros in 2018 and employs 82,600 people worldwide. As the world's leading beauty company, L'Oréal is present across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, pharmacies and drugstores, hair salons, travel retail, branded retail and e-commerce.
Research and innovation, and a dedicated research team of 3,885 people, are at the core of L'Oréal's strategy, working to meet beauty aspirations all over the world. L'Oréal's sustainability commitment for 2020 "Sharing Beauty With All" sets out ambitious sustainable development objectives across the Group's value chain. For more information: http://mediaroom.loreal.com/en/
Founded in 2012, uBiome is the leader in microbial genomics. The Company's mission is to advance the science of the microbiome and make it useful to people. uBiome combines its patented proprietary precision sequencing™ with machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop wellness products, clinical tests, and therapeutic targets. uBiome has filed for over 250 patents on its technology, which includes sample preparation, computational analysis, molecular techniques, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
uBiome's commercial products include SmartGut™, the world's first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test, which identifies microbes in the gut for patients with chronic gut conditions such as IBD, IBS, Crohn's Disease, and ulcerative colitis; SmartJane™, the first sequencing-based women's health screening test, which genotypes all 19 clinically relevant strains of HPV, identifies four common STDs, and surveys more than 20 vaginal microbes associated with bacterial vaginosis and other conditions; and Explorer™, a health and wellness product to understand the role that food and lifestyle can play in wellness.
uBiome's platform has been used by hundreds of thousands of consumers, patients, and doctors and more than 200 research institutions around the world, including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Harvard University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Francisco, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney.
Since its launch, the company has received widespread recognition including CNN 10: Startups to Watch, the IVY Technology Award, CNN Future 30, and was named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare in 2016 and in Data Science in 2018, as well as a Technology Pioneer from the World Economic Forum in 2018. For more information, visit http://www.uBiome.com.
SOURCE L'Oreal USA