Stem cell skin care firm eyes Asia expansion amid rising interest in health, regenerative medicine

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

FactorFive targeting expansion in Asia after its Middle East move ‘exceeded expectations’. [FactorFive]
FactorFive targeting expansion in Asia after its Middle East move ‘exceeded expectations’. [FactorFive]

Related tags Skin care Cosmetics Stem cell Skin health

A US-based skin care firm using ‘ethically derived’ human stem cells is targeting expansion in Asia after its Middle East move ‘exceeded expectations’.

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia​, founder and CEO John Aylworth said the company’s move into the Middle East has been a “resounding success​” so far.

“It totally exceeded my expectations. We are inspired by our early successes in the Middle East.We speculated that based on our successes in the Middle East, could try our hand with distribution in Asia.”

Aylworth believes the moment is ripe to seek international expansion as consumers today have a heightened awareness of health. The desire to age well is increasing their interest in things like regenerative medicine.

“We’re seeing this trend extending from the health and wellness space. Eating habits, nutritional standards have all increased – it’s all about getting healthier. We are at the forefront of regenerative medicine, stem cells. How is your body healing itself? We understand that better than most how human biology works.”

Established in 2015, FactorFive claims to utilise ethically derived adult human stem cell factors in its skin care products.

The company extracts these stem cell factors from human adipose tissue, which is donated by people who have undergone liposuction procedures.

The stem cell factors obtained from adipose tissue are rich in proteins and growth factors that are believed to have potential benefits for skin health. These factors are thought to support the skin's natural processes, including collagen production, cellular regeneration, and overall rejuvenation.

“We’ve been able to extract those signals that are signalling for your body to heal itself – that’s the active ingredient in our products. We believe that as market, people are starting to align with our research. Along with the overall trend for natural wellness, we expect that we’re going to be rising higher and higher in brand recognition as people understand our science,”​ said Aylworth.

International push

For 2024, the firm’s major focus is pushing international distribution of the brand.

“We’d like to expand all across APAC, as well as Latin America and Europe. We’re in a strong international of the brand mode in 2024. We’re sort of opportunistic in that sense. We’d be glad to enter any market,” ​said Aylsworth.

That being said, the Asian markets that stand out to the firm include Japan and China.

One of its biggest goals is breaking into the lucrative China market, said Aylsworth.

Before this, the company was hesitant to explore overseas prospects due to a lack of understanding over the regulations.

“The reason we didn’t explore exports for a while is because we didn’t really understand the regulatory element for a long time. It turns out that the question among regulatory bodies is primarily about the intended use of the products. As a human stem cell-based product that is used entirely for cosmetic purposes, we’re generally okay. We don’t make claims that we’re going to heal you or cure a disease.”

Aylsworth emphasised that FactorFive products do not use actual living stem cells in its formulations; instead, they use the growth factors and proteins produced by these cells.

Moving forward, the company is getting to understand potential channels within the region.

“In the US, our kits work well in the medical channel. Other regions might be different, we’re not particularly dogmatic about it. We just want it to be delivered in the appropriate channel. It’s been enlightening to talk to people from different countries and hear about what works in their specific region,” ​said Aylsworth.

In addition, the firm is also exploring opportunities in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

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