Amyris’s sugarcane-based squalane improves CBD efficacy by 10-40x

March 8, 2020 |

No need to rub it in as hard when you use Amyris’s sugarcane squalane as a carrier oil for CBD compared to other carrier oils like jojoba oil, sunflower oil, MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), and hemp seed oil into human skin. With an increased efficacy of CBD by 10-40X, Amyris’s carrier oil helps get the good stuff into the skin pretty darn effectively, and at a faster rate to beat.

In today’s Digest, why this latest Amyris news is of interest even if you don’t care about CBD creams and skin care, some science behind the science on their squalane, a peak at their impressive chart, the latest financials and business growth updates, and more.

The market

In California, Amyris presented clinical data showing that its natural sugarcane squalane (marketed and sold as Neossance Squalane) improves the efficacy of CBD by 10-40X as the carrier oil chassis for the skin care market as a carrier of CBD versus other oils. In order for CBD to be effective in topical applications, skin penetration is a key factor.

This news from Amyris will certainly attract CBD cream and lotion manufacturers and CBD skincare users, but exactly how big is this market?

It’s no small potatoes with 1 in 7 Americans (about 14%) say they use CBD products. Of those, 40% of users utilize CBD products for pain, 20% for anxiety, 11% for sleep.

So getting the CBD pain relief absorbed into your skin more quickly AND more effectively with higher rates of CBD getting into your skin means a lot of consumers will want this stuff. Which means Amyris as a business is going to thrive this year if for nothing else than the skincare segment alone.

In 2019, the U.S. CBD market was estimated to have a stunning growth of 706%, according to MarketWatch.

Some say the CBD oil market will reach $20 billion globally by 2024 – that’s only a few years away –others aim even higher saying it will reach $23.7 billion in 2023 and others go even further with estimates of $89 billion by 2026.

Apparently the CBD growth could be “off the charts” more so because CBD can be extracted from both the cannabis and hemp plant, whereas THC derives almost entirely from the cannabis plant. And guess what? Hemp plants are considerably cheaper to grow than cannabis, making hemp a much more economical choice for CBD extraction, according to The Motley Fool.

The science behind the science

The Cosmos Technical Center in Japan recently conducted this study that Amyris is referring to, in order to explore the skin penetration rate of CBD in Neossance Squalane versus jojoba oil, sunflower oil, MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), and hemp seed oil into human skin. The study measured the amount of CBD penetrated in a human epidermal skin model and found that Neossance Squalane delivered between 10-40 times more CBD to the epidermis than other carrier oils. The results also illustrated that CBD when used with Neossance Squalane penetrated skin faster, an important aspect for quicker and impactful skin relief.

The graph below represents the concentration of CBD measured in the EpiSkin model at various time points comparing delivery in Neossance Squalane, Jojoba Oil, Sunflower Oil, MCT, and Hemp Seed Oil. Neossance Squalane improved CBD penetration across all time points.

The other oils tend to rest on the surface of the skin along with some of the CBD being carried, or clog skin pores without delivering a sufficient quantity of CBD as desired to the epidermis of the skin where it matters, according to the study. “Brands should prioritize effective delivery of CBD to where receptors are in the skin and can now use Neossance Squalane as a chassis to deliver the best penetration performance to significantly improve the efficacy of CBD for topical applications,” according to Amyris’s press release. “Neossance Squalane can also improve consumer experience as it provides to the skin benefits like moisturizing, brightening, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is a transformational opportunity for the cannabinoid industry to deliver high performance products and lower the risk of poor quality and/or non-compliant applications for consumers.”

In addition to significantly improving the delivery of CBD, according to a review of top claims of CBD launched in 2019 from Mintel’s GNPD (Global New Products Database), Neossance Squalane helps brands meet 13 top claims consumers look for in CBD products such as moisturization, ethical sourcing, anti-aging, natural, and sustainable.

“We are very pleased with the breakthrough results from our clinical studies,” said Caroline Hadfield, President of Aprinnova. “This is a great example of how clean ingredients made from our science platform and naturally sourced from sugarcane combined with our scientific approach to formulations can lead to disruption in key markets. We are very excited to deliver what consumers are seeking and support the brands that are committed to delivering high efficacy and sustainability at an accessible value for consumers.”

Amyris’s CBD fermentation work

Amyris is developing CBD through fermentation technology and believes it will be the first company to provide highly pure and efficacious CBD from this technology at commercial scale.

“The ability to provide both high quality CBD and the best performing carrier chassis will provide consumers with greater choice and product effectiveness,” according to the Amyris press release. “The company has filed a patent application covering the use of squalane to deliver cannabinoids, including CBD, to the skin to protect its distinctive advantage.”

As reported in The Digest in December 2019, Amyris successfully shipped the first cannabinoid to its partner, LAVVAN. These ingredients are produced with Amyris’s fermentation technology platform which allows Amyris to scale ingredients that are rarer within the cannabis plant, and difficult and extremely expensive to extract in quantity. Amyris is also well on its way to the shipment of a second cannabinoid in the first half of 2020.

This is the 10th unique fermentation molecule Amyris has currently in production. Amyris currently has 22 additional molecules in development with some of the world’s leading companies as partners and long-term supply and commercialization agreements to ensure successful market entry.

All about the numbers

Just two weeks ago, The Digest reported that Amyris’s clean beauty business, comprising Biossance, Pipette and the company’s squalane ingredients business is off to much better than expected growth for 2020 and is on track for over 250% year on year sales growth after the first six weeks of 2020. Year to date through February 18, 2020, sales through the Biossance brand’s website have exceeded by 2X total full-first quarter of 2019 sales.

It’s no surprise they are seeing such growth in the beauty business with their Biossance brand landing in the UK market in January, as reported in The Digest.

And earlier in February, The Digest reported that Amyris finalized $112 million in recapitalization anchored by Foris Ventures. Foris exercised existing warrants to purchase common stock at $2.87 to facilitate the conversion of approximately $70 million of debt into common stock. In addition to the debt reduction, the company raised $42 million in new financing led by one of the largest global mutual fund investors, Foris and several other long-term holders.

Also in December 2019, Amyris launched Purecane brand sweetener, also known as fermented sugarcane Rebaudioside M, direct to consumers. The sweetener is made through a patented fermentation process, that starts with sugarcane and then converts it to a pure, no-calorie sweetener without any artificial chemicals.

Bottom Line

Amyris seems to be on target for some impressive growth this year – after all, how can you argue with an estimated 250% year on year sales growth? And between this latest news about the Neossance Squalane helping CBD absorb better and quicker into the skin making huge strides in a fast-growing CBD skincare market, fermented sugarcane brand sweetener Purecane, cannabinoid and CBD fermentation technology and commercialization with LAVVAN, baby brand Pipette and clean beauty brand Biossance market expansion, things are really taking off for Amyris.

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