Business unit formed on multi-functional emulsions

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Personal care, Emulsion

A Canada-based bio-tech company has launched a new personal care
business to ensure that its green multi-functional emulsions will
provide it with a strong and dependable revenue stream.

SemBiosys has announced the creation of Botaneco, a subsidiary that will manufacture and market its oilseed-based products for the personal care and prescription dermatology industries. Botaneco will serve as a platform for SemBiosys' DermaSphere technology, developed in 2004, that performs as an all in one emulsifier, moisturizer, emollient, and delivery system for use in hair and skin care products. Extracted from oil seed, its oil-in-water emulsion naturally contains moisturizing oils along with emulsifying proteins and phospholipids. Tony Abboud from Sembiosys said that what is extracted is almost the finished product, which makes it natural, but also means that very little energy is used as hot processing is unnecessary. DermaSphere-based products leave comparatively small carbon footprints because of the low levels of energy required during the production process. The newly launched company will operate primarily in the US, although Abboud said that expansion into Asia and Europe is planned for 2008. It is expected that Botaneco will serve as SemiBiosys' cash cow, allowing the parent company to continue its pharmaceutical research, which is not profitable in the short-term. "The Boteneco business unit gives SemBiosys increased control over its commercial activities targeting the multi-billion dollar personal care and dermatology marketplace, and offers Sembiosys a focused organization with all the resources to make this launch successful for our stakeholders," said Andrew Baum from Sembiosys. Sembiosys will be banking on the success of Boteneco in order to secure the financial health of the company. Although the biotech firm posted improved revenues of just over CAD $1m ($950,000) for the first half of 2007, it made a net loss of almost CAD $6.5m ($6.2m). Sembiosys developed its DermaSphere technology in 2004 and marketed it in partnership with the Switzerland-based firm Lonza. Despite winning a Frost & Sullivan award for innovation and attaining considerable market interest, the product was not a spectacular commercial success and the partnership with Lonza terminated late last year. However, SemBiosys remains confident in its invention and has stated its intention to create and commercialize a broad portfolio of DermaSphere-based products. With increased consumer concern about climate change and a US naturals market that continues to expand, growing by 18.4 percent to $2.78bn in 2006, it would seems that Botaneco is well placed with its natural low emission products.

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