CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Living Proof, a company that uses a rigorous scientific approach and biotechnology originating from MIT to discover novel hair care and beauty solutions, today announced that, for the first time, the company has combined its proprietary technologies into a new product launching today that breaks new ground in hair care and is expected to form the cornerstone of a new multi-million dollar franchise. In addition, Living Proof announced that it received three Notices of Allowance and one issued patent related to its innovative hair care products.
Issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the three notices of allowance for patents expand Living Proof’s proprietary technology around OFPMA, a moisture controlling molecular shield designed to weightlessly smooth, condition, strengthen, polish and extend the quality and appearance of styled hair. OFPMA is a key component of many Living Proof products. And for the first time, OFPMA is co-formulated with another proprietary Living Proof molecule for microscopic hair thickening, PBAE, to create a new product launched today called Perfect Hair Day (PHD): 5-in-1 Styling Treatment.
This new product delivers five benefits, a combination of styling and treatment in one formula, a feat which has been impossible to do with the established hair care ingredients of the last 30 years. Not only does this represent a step forward in hair care science but also responds to the ever-growing consumer demand for more convenience in their hair and beauty routines. By addressing an unmet consumer need and doing so with a proprietary solution using Living Proof patented molecules, the company sees the market opportunity of this first product in the franchise as upwards of $15 million in retail and salon sales in its first year.
“When you’re willing to go out of the box and really invest in groundbreaking scientific discovery – creating entirely new ingredients that have never before been used in beauty – there is obviously big risk. But with that comes big reward,” said Jill Beraud, CEO of Living Proof. “With these new patents and the anticipated return of our new franchise, it is clear that there is huge value in our science.”
“The science taking place at Living Proof is special because, instead of following the traditional formula within the hair and skin care industry, the company follows a model we knew worked well for driving innovation -- the biotech industry,” explains Dr. Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Living Proof is built around the scientific principle I’ve always believed in: that if you can find the root cause of the problem, you can solve it. The company is also bringing the most modern and advanced technologies, such as novel material designs and high throughput technologies, to apply to the problems in hair and skin care, and the patents we have received are evidence of the innovation we’ve achieved so far."
Living Proof has the investments to prove it. Earlier this year, the company secured a $30 million financing round led by Living Proof founder Polaris Venture Partners as well as healthcare investment bank firm Leerink Swann, some of which will fuel further investment in their scientific discovery program. Discovery and innovation are key tenets at the company, where the teams in the lab innovate beyond the Living Proof’s retail categories of hair care and hair styling products.
In fact, the company also recently was awarded a new U.S. patent, entitled “Coloring Agents and Methods of Use Thereof” (U.S. Patent Number 8,444,715). This patent covers a hair coloring innovation in Living Proof’s pipeline. The hair coloring innovation brings together for the first time two properties that have historically been a tradeoff in hair color products: color brilliance and durability. The claims of this new issued patent are directed to novel dye compositions. In a similar way that molecules are combined for innovative drugs and other molecular structures, the claimed dye compounds in Living Proof’s technology contain three parts: a chromophore which is responsible for the color of the dye; a color-fastness moiety, which is responsible for binding the dye compound to hair; and a linker, which connects the chromophore to the color-fastness moiety.
“Our scientists are discovering proprietary technologies inspired by biomedical research, and bringing this innovation to hair care,” said Eric Spengler, SVP of R&D for Living Proof. “We are applying scientific principles to enable the development of novel products that enable new and improved properties for strong, healthy hair. These new patents just build on our already strong patent estate which includes our Poly (beta-amino ester) compounds developed using high-throughput processes and technology originating from MIT.”
“We envision the R&D labs at Living Proof to be a product engine for many innovations in hair and beauty,” said Beraud. “The additional patents related to OFPMA are an example of the continuing stream of innovation in our hair care product portfolio. Moreover, the recent hair color technology patent shows the breadth of our innovation in a new direction, and we are seeking ways to bring this innovation in hair color to market through strategic partnerships or licensing agreements.”
Living Proof may have built its name on brilliant science, securing 41 industry awards for their work, but that was only the beginning. Since Jennifer Aniston joined the brand as co-owner and hair care spokesperson in October 2012, the company has seen tremendous growth in both consumer awareness and retail sales. According to the results of a year-long study, brand awareness was 140% higher than it was the year prior. To date, Living Proof has more than doubled its business this year.
OFPMA, a novel molecule in Living Proof No Frizz and Restore products, forms a residue-free, weightless shield around each hair strand to smooth and protect the cuticle, while adding vibrant shine. OFPMA also conditions and strengthens the hair, but because it is free of oils and silicones, OFPMA does not weigh hair down.
PBAE is the acronym for PolyBetaAminoEster, a class of materials that are polymers. MIT has numerous patents on PBAEs and much of their research has focused within the biotechnology field, in particular related to drug delivery. Living Proof, in its work with MIT, identified potential for harnessing this technology and re-engineering these materials to build larger polymers that can act as hair thickeners and volumizers. Living Proof has also been awarded specific patents for the PBAE polymers used by the company.
About Living Proof
Living Proof is a Cambridge-based hair company, born in the heart of biotech and staffed by world class biotech scientists and beauty experts. Using technology originating from MIT, we invent and patent new molecules that have never been used in beauty before. Founded in 2005, we have 16 patents and countless award-winning solutions that are changing the way our hair behaves.