Mitra Bio – unlocking the secrets of skin aging with epigenetics

Trailblazing the provision of actionable insights into the skin’s genetics and epigenetics in order to power skin longevity.

Following the launch of our new Advanced Aesthetics report, we are showcasing five dynamic and innovative companies we feel are driving this exciting space – our trailblazers.

Over this week and next, we will be bringing you extracts from five trailblazer profiles; each profile includes a flagship product deep dive which offers a forensic consideration of product development, future development, target market, channels to market, success factors, IP and funding.

Here’s the lowdown on Mitra Bio, and to read the full version of Mitra Bio’s profile (and much more besides!) in our HTML advanced aesthetics report, please click here.

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Mitra Bio, which was founded in 2020, is developing a platform that provides actionable insights into the skin’s genetics and epigenetics with the goal of powering skin longevity.

Mitra Bio has non-invasive skin sampling technique together with unique epigenetic biomarkers to track skin aging directly on human volunteers (not on skin models or animals as it is today).

The biomarkers identify the impact of rejuvenation therapies on skin’s own cellular aging. This powers the development of skin rejuvenation compounds that target the root cause of aging not just the symptoms (wrinkles).

We are transforming skincare by approaching aging as a disease to be fought – Mitra Bio

Mitra Bio was created by Dr Shakiba Kaveh and Dr Cristiana Banila. Dr Shakiba Kaveh worked at a large skincare company where she first saw the efforts being made to create personalised skincare by extracting insights from individual skin. She has a PhD in Materials Science from Cambridge University. Dr Cristiana Banila studied Biochemistry at Oxford and Princeton. As part of her PhD, she developed a non-invasive molecular tool to replace pap-smears based on epigenetics biomarkers, a tool is currently in trial by the NHS. Combining Dr Shakiba Kaveh’s experience in the skincare industry and Dr Cristina Banila’s knowledge of developing diagnostic tools, Mitra Bio was founded.  Bringing together domain insight from skincare and the epigenetics know-how to disrupt the market, Mitra Bio’s aim was to build a tool that skincare companies can use to develop efficient and effective antiaging skincare products.

The global antiaging market is estimated to be worth $49.93 billion in 2022 (“Anti-Aging Global Market Report 2022”, 2022) while the global skincare products market was worth $148 billion in 2020 with a projected growth reaching $189 billion by 2026 (“Global Skin Care Products Market Report and Forecast 2022-2027”, 2022). These trends demonstrate a clear interest and growth trajectory for both markets. Nonetheless, at present skincare and antiaging products simply target the signs of aging without targeting the root cause at a cellular level. This is largely due to the lack of comprehensive understanding of what causes cellular aging of the skin, a lack of ways of qualifying skin aging and lack of non-invasive skin sampling techniques which have limited research in this area.

There is also lack of data from multiple skin ethnicities and how different skin tones react to the environment. Most clinical trials are performed on white skin. Mitra Bio hopes to overcome some of these obstacles by developing non-invasive skin sampling tools that provide insight into skin aging inclusive of all skin types and can facilitate the development of real effective skincare products that target skin aging at cellular level.

Skin has been disregarded in many longevity studies. The goal of Mitra Bio is to fight skin aging like a disease and power personalised rejuvenation solutions for the individual skin types. By using multi-omics with a focus on epigenetics biomarkers, Mitra Bio can gain the necessary insights to understand skin aging and understand its interaction with lifestyle choices, the environment and topical/edible supplements. The combination of non-invasive sampling technology and proprietary biomarkers gives Mitra Bio a quick way to gauge the effectiveness of antiaging compounds. This reduces the time to market of compounds as it could take years with currently available tools.

On top of that, Mitra Bio’s biomarker database will drive a revolution in the discovery of new effective antiaging compounds. By using the platform researchers will turn genetic and epigenetic biomarker data derived from skin-patches, into actionable insights for progress. By deeply understanding aging, Mitra Bio’s partners will be able to develop the next generation of skincare products that target the root causes of aging, not just the wrinkles.

Furthermore, Mitra Bio is adamant in that the use of in vitro skin models or animal models are not enough in the discovery of antiaging compounds. Instead, Mitra Bio approach is to use of non-invasive skin sampling methods to extract epigenetics biomarkers from volunteer’s skin at scale. Through on-going clinical trials with different skincare companies, Mitra Bio can build a proprietary database of biomarkers  encompassing all skin types. This enables Mitra to guide the design of new compounds using in vivo insights from the human skin and its interaction with the environment without having to rely on the more unreliable insights provided by in vitro studies and animal models.

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