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New Clinical Trial Signals Shift in Medical and Personal Care Companies Relationships

Medical testing business preMD has launched a clinical trial with a global cosmetics company, focusing on its skin cholesterol test. Partnerships between medical companies specializing in predictive tests and personal care players are becoming increasingly common, as the opportunities for personalized cosmetics become apparent.

Assess skin health

Toronto-based preMD originally developed its skin cholesterol test as a noninvasive method of assessing an individual’s risk of heart disease. However, the company has now launched a clinical trial to investigate the potential of the test to assess the health of the skin. This, in turn, might help inform an individual’s choice of skin care products, explained a company spokesperson. “A deficiency in skin cholesterol may contribute to an unhealthy skin state, perhaps resulting in skin dryness,” the spokesman said.

Such information could help inform an individual on a suitable skin care regimen—the products being provided by the partnering cosmetics company. A similar model has been developed in the hair care sector with biotech companies offering predictive tests for hair loss in partnership with companies specializing in products for use with thinning hair.

New market, new opportunities

PreMD’s clinical trial with the cosmetics company will be completed in the first quarter of 2009, however the spokesperson was unable to estimate the time to market of subsequent product developments with any certainty.

This is the first time the company has moved out of the medical field, and it has high hopes for the collaboration. “We believe that this is a significant market opportunity for the company. Having been encouraged by previous results we hope that this will be a positive step for PreMD,” said the spokesperson., December 1, 2008

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