Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in human skin that is essential for skin quality and a key component for a healthy youthful appearance.
The two main collagens found in the skin are type I and type III collagen. Type I collagen is a stiff fibrillar protein that provides tensile strength whereas type III collagen provides elastic rebound to skin quality. As we age, there is a dramatic and progressive loss of type III collagen. As a result, the loss of skin elasticity can lead to fine lines and wrinkles, and deepening contour lines such as prominent nasolabial folds and marionette lines.
Type III collagen was first described in 1971 and consists of three alpha-1 polypeptide chains that are wound in a left-handed triple helix. The three chains naturally aggregate by covalent cross-linking bonds and twist into a right-handed super helix, forming the basic collagen unit. Collagen is naturally produced by dermal fibroblasts but with aging and other risk factors (eg, excessive sun exposure), fibroblasts begin to decrease in numbers and the quality of remaining collagen is characterized by breakage of the protein strands leading to less mechanical and elastic support for the skin – leading to fine lines and wrinkles on the skin surface.
Our goal is to produce premium quality type III human collagen for facial aesthetics to help restore and revitalize skin quality – using the same genetic engineering protein technology that we use to produce potentially sight-saving therapies. For more than 50 years, efforts to produce human type III collagen with recombinant DNA methods has proven to be immensely difficult. Currently available substitutes include collagen derived from animal sources (cow, pig) or humanized type III collagen monomer chains or peptide fragments. But, there is no full length, triple helix protein products identical to naturally produced type III human collagen that is currently on the market. The first company to successfully produce full length, triple helix recombinant type III human collagen (rhCIII) was FibroGen, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company. In 2021, Eluminex acquired all rights for the production and development of rhCIII (and rhCI) and has successfully replicated the process in its own GMP manufacturing facility located in Suzhou BioBAY. We are proud to announce that we are the first company in the world to produce full length triple helix rhCIII at scale and are excited to develop this innovation for aesthetic specialists and their patients as we begin clinical registration studies in late 2024.
Our ultimate goal is to provide the aesthetic specialist a diverse product line of rhCIII-based state-of-the-art injectable dermal fillers to rejuvenate skin quality, reduce fine lines and deep age-related contour lines, while backed by solid science and proven safety and effectiveness.