Integumen signs two new multi-year agreements
Integumen has signed multi-year agreements with two unnamed ‘top 10’ global cosmetic companies for recurring LabskinAI services, it announced on Monday, with initial aggregate low six-figure payments already received.
At the same time, it also announced that at the AI Awards event in Dublin, its LabskinAI combined teams of microbiology and computer science disclosed the completion of an artificially intelligent, virtual psoriasis skin model.
On the subject of the two new deals, it said that under the framework agreements being rolled out, research and development teams in the United States, Asia and the European Union would “connect and collaborate” with the LabskinAI virtual lab.
That would involve testing existing products and new product development on LabskinAI, making full use of the company’s healthy and diseased living skin models, and analysed by the LabskinAI platform.
“We are still only at the beginning with LabskinAI and privileged to be working with these leading household names so quickly,” said Integumen chief executive officer Gerard Brandon.
“These are data driven engagements and recognise that non animal testing on Labskin human skin equivalents combined with AI deep analytics is the way forward for the skincare industry.
“Clients can now assess how formulations are reacting on top of and deep into the skin microbiome which will create better, safer, more cost-effective products that meet increasing compliance requirements.”
Brandon said that, with the promise of potential contract extensions in the future with existing clients and new contracts in the pipeline, the company was “excited” that its new laboratories in York would soon be coming onstream to meet the growing demand.
“Even with only two months of the new additional lab space, management are confident that group revenue will exceed £1m by our year end.”
On the announcement at the AI Awards 2019 event in Dublin, Integumen said that utilising 671 anonymised patients, samples were taken directly from the psoriasis lesion and other sites on the patients with psoriasis, with a goal to produce an artificial intelligence-generalised solution for diseased skin.
Following genomic sequencing of the samples, the resulting datasets identified 216 species of microbiota - bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Those were confirmed using a number of different AI algorithms.
The board said that following the testing of various types, a reliable psoriasis model was identified and was confirmed through a cross-validation process.
In total, 33 species were identified that were described as “critical” to the success of the Labskin AI diseased skin model for analysing psoriasis.
The continued addition of patient data would further increase the accuracy of the psoriasis model.
That AI dataset model could also be used to develop other diseased skin models such as atopic dermatitis, rosacea and acne.
Integumen said that studies estimated that psoriasis affected up to 4.8% of the global population, with the economic burden of the disease said to be “significant”.
In 2008, the annual cost of psoriasis in the US was estimated at $11.25bn, and on the other hand, the burden of atopic dermatitis in the US was $5.297bn in 2015, with 10.7% of children and 7.2% of adults affected.
The company said that in Europe the number of children showing symptoms of atopic dermatitis oscillated between 10% and 20%.
Integumen explained that the cost of new topical drugs was “costly”, and could take between 10 and 15 years at a cost of £2bn per new drug, with a failure rate of 95%.
LabskinAI was described as ethical, as there was no requirement to set up expensive pre-clinical animal trials.
Pharmaceutical companies could undertake topical treatment and skin care product tests in weeks with the LabskinAI diseased skin models that mimicked the human skin, in the laboratory.
“Integumen is at the forefront of AI development for the skin care industry,” said Gerard Brandon.
“AI diseased skin models are the new frontier and are a disruptive platform for new drug discovery.”
That had the ability to transform the research and development of diseased skin treatments, making them “a lot less expensive” and bring products to the market faster.
“This is why large skin care companies are signing up to use LabskinAI, as reported in the RNS issued earlier today.”