From the annual congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Paris
I spent a portion of the day today walking around the exhibits at the annual meeting of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology at the Palais des Congres in Paris. For good or bad, the cosmetics industry has a pretty strong presence in the exhibit hall. Before I got here, I’d be inclined to dismiss the presence of Aveeno, L’Oreal, Lancome, and Roc as just another way to push their wares.
Surprisingly, there are a lot of brains behind all of that beauty. Every cosmetic booth I stopped at today had handouts on the trials behind the products; if I asked about trial data, they had a handout. Some even offered them before I could ask.
So what do they research? I’ve got a handout on the sequencing on the genome of Malassezia globosa, the fungus associated with dandruff (published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science no less). From a Nestle-L’Oreal venture (inneov), I got clinical trial data on nutritional supplementation to reduce hair loss and improve hair quality. The resulting supplements are expected in the United States as soon as FDA approval is received.
This afternoon, I sat through a symposium sponsored by Eucerin, on data suggesting that hair follicles are an important entry point for aeroallergens. It was pretty sophisticated stuff, with fluorescence imaging of birch pollen trapped in the follicle. Of course, Eucerin also has a product that appears to prevent pollen from getting into the follicle, which is not yet available in the United States. It’s not clear if this will translate into better quality of life for allergy sufferers though.
From what I’ve seen, the beauty industry may soon be able to give big pharma a run for its money when it comes to R&D.