The future of aging and the quest to find the elusive fountain of youth has been the focus of innovative start-ups in the biotech space who are tackling mortality and increasing the human life span. This work is not just about living longer, but also feeling younger and being healthier.
For the team at the longevity company OneSkin, it is about extending the health and youthfulness of the skin, or skinspan as they call it. Launched in 2016 as a biotech start-up after acceptance into IndieBio, the world’s leading science accelerator, the business has released its first product via DTC e-commerce. Their Topical Skin Supplement featuring a proprietary peptide, OS-01, is designed to reduce the skin’s biological age by improving the skin barrier, supporting DNA damage repair, and preventing the accumulation of senescent cells.
“Our goal was to develop a product that extends skinspan, the period of time your skin is healthy and youthful,” said Carolina Reis, co-founder and CEO at OneSkin. “Our roots are in longevity science and we saw a need to shift the current paradigm. Instead of short-term fixes that focus purely on aesthetics, we’re targeting the root cause of aging and optimizing skin health on a molecular level. We believe what we put on our skin should be safe, effective, and help to maximize our human potential.”
Committed to delivering innovation through a rigorous scientific validation process, OneSkin runs end-to-end Research & Development in-house. “We aren’t simply ‘backed by science,’ we live and breathe science in the OneSkin lab on a daily basis,” said Reis.
The Team: The team is led and co-founded by four PhDs—Carolina Reis, Alessandra Zonari, Mariana Boroni, Juliana Carvalho—and includes Senior Scientist Lear Brace, a Harvard PhD and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and Peter Diamandis as one of their advisors.
The Product: The Topical Supplement delivers OS-01, a proprietary peptide that extends long-term skin health by targeting the root cause of aging at the molecular level.
The Science: OneSkin’s scientific team is comprised of leading scientists with expertise in stem cell biology, skin regeneration, tissue engineering, biochemistry, bioinformatics, molecular biology, immunology, and aging. By optimizing skin health on the molecular level and increasing skin strength, OneSkin is able to extend skinspan.
The team measures skinspan in two ways.
- MolClock: The first skin-specific molecular clock to determine the biological age of human skin, described by OneSkin co-founder Mariana Boroni, Ph.D., as a “Highly accurate Skin-Specific methylome analysis algorithm as a platform to screen and validate therapeutics for healthy aging.” Through MolClock, OneSkin is able to understand how its proprietary OS-01 peptide affects skin at a molecular level.
- Skin Aging Modeling: The brand’s proprietary technology and lab process, which includes growing 3Dhuman skin weekly and measuring how various products and ingredients influence gene expression of the many genes associated with aging and longevity.
By combining these tools OneSkin is able to understand the full efficacy of different products, including how products influence gene and protein expression, skin barrier, and skin structure, in order to ensure the Topical Skin Supplement is the most effective at promoting long-term skin health.
The Funding: The brand has secured a total of $7.5 million in funding. IndieBio, SOSV Ventures, and 2Future Holding all participated in the brand’s $2 million seed round in 2017. The brand’s most recent funding round occurred in July 2020, with an angel investment of $1.5 million, following a $3.5 million post-seed round in July 2019 from several angel investors.
Photo: via OneSkin