New hope for wrinkles

December 15, 2006

A new anti-aging ingredient developed by Australian researchers is expected to be available in skin products next year. The new additive - gamma glutamyl cysteine (GGC) - is a precursor for an effective antioxidant known as glutathione, which has a broad range of potential health benefits.

Glutathione is the body's key defense for detoxifying harmful compounds implicated in cancer, diabetes, aging along with other diseases and degenerative conditions.

After nine years in development, researchers Dr Wallace Bridge and Dr Martin Zarka, of the University of New Sotuh Wales (Sydney, Australia) have established a new, cost-effective process for manufacturing GGC.

The process has been licensed to pharmaceutical company, Biospecialties Australia. A newly-expanded manufacturing plant at Newcastle, New South Wales, will produce GGC.

It is expected that GGC will be used as an active ingredient in foods, health care, toothpastes, dietary supplements and cosmetics as well as in skin repair anti-aging creams.

Natural dietary sources of GGC are available, including milk whey protein and garlic.

However, GGC is present only in relatively dilute concentrations. This new, pure GGC product will potentially allow for more efficacious dosages and product formulations.

Given the rapidly increasing interest in glutathione, it is likely a pure GGC supplement would have significant market potential.

Biospecialties Australia P/L is a licensee of New South Innovations (NSi), which provides technology transfer services to the university.

The company received an Australian Government "Commercial Ready" grant of A$1.1M earlier this year to assist in bringing GGC to market for use in foods, health care and cosmetics.

Source: University of New South Wales

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