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U of Arizona licenses sunscreen that doesn’t seep into the skin


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 6th, 2017

The University of Arizona (UA) has licensed a safer, more effective sunscreen to MexiAloe Laboratorios, a subsidiary of Novamex.

Developed by UA professor Douglas Loy and graduate student Stephanie Tolbert, the technology binds oxybenzone, the active ingredient in most common sunscreens, so that it doesn’t seep into the skin. Although oxybenzone is safe, there is a growing public concern that it is less effective when absorbed by users.

 “Stephanie wanted to improve cosmetics by introducing sunscreens that wouldn’t pass through the skin,” says Loy. “In addition to being non-hazardous, we made the sunscreens last longer so they wouldn’t have to be reapplied as frequently.”

Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the university’s commercialization arm, helped patent the invention and licensed it to MexiAloe, one of the largest aloe vera suppliers in North America. Before that, TLA’s Asset Development Program provided funding to advance the technology beyond basic research, while the office’s Commercialization Partners, a group of experienced entrepreneurs and business mentors, offered input on the commercialization process.

 “The CEO [of MexiAloe] wrote a letter supporting the project and contributed financially to the development,” says TLA licensing manager Paul Eynott. “TLA awarded the funds to Loy’s lab, and the results tipped the scales in favor of a great exclusive license arrangement.”

“Personal care consumers are connecting the dots between health, environmental sustainability and natural ingredients. This trend is shaping the future of the natural personal care category,” says Luis Fernandez, CEO of Novamex. “With these licensed patents from UA, we are looking forward to provide innovative solutions for consumers that now more than ever are looking for natural and functional sunscreens.”

Source: Tech Launch Arizona

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