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MCW Professor Invents Technology for an Advanced Anti-Aging Formulation, Brings Product to Market

MCW professor invents technology for an advanced anti-aging formulation, brings product to market

A MCW School of Pharmacy professor’s invention is now commercially available in a cosmetic anti-aging cream. The advanced cosmetic formulation takes the known anti-aging molecule trans-resveratrol and enhances its performance with a dendrimer, a type of polymer.

The anti-aging cream is called Amruth, meaning “nectar” in Sanskrit, and has been in more than 10 years in the making from inception to commercialization.

Abhay Chauhan, PhD, MPharm, BPharm, associate professor at the MCW School of Pharmacy is one of the pioneers of dendrimers for drug delivery applications. He established the role of dendrimers as water solubility and stability enhancers and was the first to prove dendrimers as skin permeation enhancers. The commercialized Amruth anti-aging product provides better resveratrol stability, water solubility and skin permeation as compared to other resveratrol products on the market which use oil or alcohol in their formulations to solubilize the resveratrol.

“I always wanted my research to give back to society and community. I’m thrilled that now I can say that I contributed to society in a small way,” said Dr. Chauhan.

Dr. Chauhan’s research on dendrimers began during his master's and PhD graduate training and was inspired by the inventor of the dendrimers, Dr. Donald Tomalia. Later, he worked with Dr. Tomalia in the nanotechnology industry for seven years before transitioning to academia at Concordia University Wisconsin, where he obtained patents for the invention. Dr. Chauhan acknowledges the role of his colleague Dr. Daniel Sem, the vice provost for research and innovation and a professor of pharmaceutical sciences, who advocated for bringing the idea to market.

Abhay Chauhan, PhD, MPharm, BPharm, and Amruth anti-aging creamIn 2017, when he was hired at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Chauhan applied for funding through the Therapeutic Accelerated Program and was awarded two grants to support data collection to prove the dendrimer/resveratrol complex works at the molecular level and is safe.

Dr. Chauhan knew there was commercial potential but didn’t have experience bringing a product to market. Dr. Chauhan was fortunate to have Dr. Sem introduce him to Mike Reilly, a former Worldwide VP/GM for Johnson & Johnson’s Professional Wound and Skin Care Products. Together they started Amruth Group, LLC with later additions of Jayson Kurfis and Cheryl Jaglinski. Reilly led the commercial development of the formulation/product. Kurfis, a former L’Oreal researcher, specialized in discovering and assessing new raw materials to combat cellular stress. He now aids Amruth Group in advancing their moisturizer development, leveraging a biodendrimer infused with resveratrol. Jaglinski is a cosmetic formulation chemist with over 30 years of experience in emulsion and surfactant technologies. She was brought in to support the Amruth Group technical team in 2022, helping create a cream emulsion using the bidendrimer/reservatrol technology. She has formulated products for large consumer goods companies as well as high-end skin care companies.

The team pitched the idea to conferences and venture capitalists and continued testing the dendrimer/resveratrol complex for stability and cell penetration. At the same time, Dr. Chauhan worked with the Amruth team to develop a cream formula that would use the dendrimer/resveratrol technology. Dr. Chauhan also acknowledges the effort of Dr. Mayank Singh, his former PhD student, in optimizing the dendrimer/resveratrol complex.

Dr. Chauhan taught MCW School of Pharmacy students to make the dendrimer complex, collect data about its effectiveness as an anti-aging material, plus conduct studies on stability and how to scale up the product. This experience helped the students gain experience that they can reference when applying for careers in the pharmaceutical industry.

The final skin cream went through two phases of human testing for safety and efficacy through a third party in Canada. Study participants applied the cream twice a day for two months and the effects were measured using various instruments, pictures and software. The study concluded that the Amruth cream does have anti-aging effects, particularly for wrinkle reduction, skin radiance and tone. The volunteers also provided observations, giving positive feedback about the anti-aging effects. The majority of the test subjects said they would recommend the cream to a friend or purchase it for personal use.

“This means a lot to me. The process was challenging, from proving an idea, creating a team and going through all the hurdles of scale up, human trials, regulatory affairs and bringing it to market – all without having any physical company. But I believed in it, and I persisted," said Dr. Chauhan.

He adds that this would not have been possible without his team. As the inventor, Dr. Chauhan made scientific contributions, but he needed support for the commercialization process. The complex is now made at a facility in Michigan, and the final cream formulation is manufactured and packaged in the Chicago area and sold through Amazon.

“One of the Indian scriptures preach you to keep doing your action, but don’t worry about the outcome because the outcome is not in your hand,” explained Dr. Chauhan. “So, I’ll keep doing what I believe in.”