Stem-cell derived bioactive ingredients continue to become an increasingly popular option for topical product formulations, as evidenced by B2C brands like FactorFive, Act+Acre, Juice Beauty, and Indie Lee. In the B2B space, there is still significant R&D being performed into ethical production of effective stem cell bioactives – and Edge Foods, recently rebranded to Edge Biotech, is one company making strides in this area.
To learn more about recent advancements in stem-cell derived cosmetic ingredient R&D, including the company’s innovations in ‘fibroblast and mesenchymal stem cell conditioned media,’ and for further insights into the growing demand for these types of topical ingredients for beauty product formulations, CosmeticsDesign interviewed Manny Tamargo, CEO and Co-Founder of Edge Biotech.
CDU: Can you share some brief background about your experience, your company, and your relationship with the cosmetics and personal care product industries?
Manny Tamargo (MT): I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years and I love that I can use my scientific expertise to work on a solution that I care about — removing animals from the supply chain.
I have extensive experience in stem cell-derived cardiac muscle tissue engineering and bioreactor fabrication. I used stem cell engineering technologies to create human heart muscle in the lab.
Borrowing from these themes, at Edge, we have captured and packaged the power of stem cell communication for a cause we are passionate about. I am an author of nine publications and five provisional patents, including two from my PhD and three with Edge.
We realize that regenerative medicine has the power to reshape human health and animal welfare. Therefore, our mission is to utilize our expertise to create animal-free animal products that would otherwise require animal sacrifice.
Our work at Edge is a unique blend of these passions – ethical biotechnology in food and personal care, driven by sustainable and innovative practices.
CDU: What are some recent innovations Edge Biotech has produced for manufacturers and suppliers to the cosmetics and personal care product industries?
MT: We are developing bioactive ingredients using our stem cell technology. Our innovations include tailoring and packaging cell secretomes in the form of conditioned media to support cell growth.
These products are rich in growth factors, fatty acids, exosomes, and metabolites, essential for skin rejuvenation and stem cell activation. Our unique approach ensures these ingredients are produced sustainably and ethically, with minimal environmental impact.
By harnessing authentic mammalian proteins and avoiding harsh chemicals and cell waste, we provide clean and highly effective ingredients for the cosmetics industry.
Our Rejuvinem showcases a five-time concentration of key bioactive compounds, delivering enhanced biological performance. Rigorous testing confirms its efficacy in promoting cellular health.
Moreover, our concentrated formulations are competitively priced, providing up to 80% cost benefits to partners.
CDU: What are some industry pain points Edge Biotech is working on addressing for cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers and suppliers? What solutions are being developed to address those pain points?
MT: In the cosmetics and personal care industry, there is increasing demand for active and differentiating ingredients that are gentle, sustainable and cruelty free. Skin care brands currently face a trade-off between ethics and efficacy.
Moreover, with new ingredients like collagen there exists a major pain point, which is the reliance on animal-derived ingredients and the environmental impact of conventional production methods.
Edge addresses these challenges by providing differentiated bio-based ingredients without compromise. Our ingredients are protein rich and efficacious, and we do not use any strong chemicals or solvents to make them.
We focus on minimal downstream processing and use cosmetic-grade supply chains, making our offerings not only environmentally friendly but also effective and accessible. By doing so, we’re opening doors to mid-tier cosmetic products, enhancing both the quality and sustainability of ingredients in the personal care industry.
CDU: How does Edge Biotech implement technological advances into innovating ingredient formulations for the cosmetics and personal care product industries?
MT: We leverage the latest in stem cell research and bioengineering to create bioactive ingredients like our fibroblast and mesenchymal stem cell conditioned media. Our unique method involves suspension-adapted production, allowing for highly dense, protein-rich products.
We then use logarithmically-controlled cell growth conditions. Finally, we use fibers to concentrate and clean our product and therefore eliminate chromatography and solvent based methods, avoiding harsh chemicals, and minimizing waste.
This approach not only enhances the efficacy of our products but also aligns with our commitment to ethical and environmentally friendly practices in the cosmetics industry.
CDU: What plans does Edge Biotech have for further innovation and development in the cosmetics and personal care product spaces?
MT: Our immediate plan includes entering the market as a business-to-business (B2B) supplier of cell-conditioned media, leveraging our innovative stem cell technologies. This move will democratize access to high-end, stem cell-based ingredients, making them available for mid-tier cosmetic products.
We’re particularly excited about introducing a new product line from mesenchymal stem cells, complementing our existing fibroblast-conditioned media. Our focus remains on sustainable practices, using food-grade manufacturing processes to offer cost-effective solutions.
We envision Edge playing a pivotal role in transforming the cosmetics industry with our ethical, biotechnology-enabled ingredients.
Looking forward, Edge plans to scale up production, starting with larger shaker flasks and gradually moving to larger bioreactors. Our goal is the commercial-scale production of 500 kg of stem cell proteins per year, catering not only to cosmetics, but also the cellular agriculture and life sciences sectors.
As Edge looks to the future, the company is actively seeking more partnerships and customers, aiming to establish its conditioned media product as a standard in the industry. In a year, we envision Edge regularly filling orders and being recognized as a crucial enabler in reducing the cost burden of growth factors and recombinant proteins.