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[Interview] Reinforcement with bioabsorbable metal 'microneedle' technology

▲ Cho Seong-yoon, CEO of Lab & People ⓒBeauty Nuri

Microneedle (ultra-fine needle) technology has recently been actively used in functional cosmetics. A microneedle is a transdermal drug delivery system containing microneedles with a length of hundreds of micrometers, and depending on the size, strength, and material of the needle, it is applied not only to cosmetics but also to drugs such as pharmaceuticals. On the 11th, we met Cho Seong-yoon, CEO of Lab & People, who is recognized for its microneedle technology using magnesium, at a cafe in Seongsu-dong, Seoul to hear about the latest technology.

What kind of company is Lab&People

Lab & People is a company established by researchers who have been developing new biomaterials. We are operating a beauty brand ‘Snow2 Plus’ based on a new material magnesium patch. It is recognized for its technological prowess, such as being selected for the BIG3 Innovative Startup Package Bio-Health field overseen by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. We are developing innovative technologies that have never existed in the world, such as microneedle patches for drug delivery using bioabsorbable metals, transplant materials that are completely degraded in the human body, and spinal micro-invasive medical devices. Based on technological prowess that has been researched in the orthopedic medical device market for more than 10 years, Lab&People has completed more than 70 intellectual property applications and more than 30 registrations.

What products do you specialize in?

A micro needle patch using only essential minerals for the human body. In October 2021, it obtained medical device approval as a patch for drug delivery. Last year, it was listed as a Class 1 medical device by the US FDA.

Lab & People's microneedle contains technology to deliver major ingredients of ampoule, such as anti-wrinkle cosmetics, by stimulating growth factors with high-purity magnesium while decomposing inside the skin. It also developed transplant materials for relieving acne scars and improving wrinkles for aesthetic purposes, and completed clinical trials in the United States. Currently, clinical trials are underway in Korea, and the fact that it is bioabsorbable metal-based is different from other companies.

It is also preparing to enter the 'electronic drug' market, which is called the next-generation treatment. The material itself is a product that functions as a battery, and it is a method of treating diseases by applying micro-stimuli. Unlike existing medicines or injections that are directly supplied to the body, electronic medicines have the advantage of having fewer side effects and the clinical period is shorter. We look forward to the rapid commercialization of electronic medicine technology.

What are the advantages of Lab&People Magnesium Patch?

The AC magnesium patch released by Snow2 Plus is a microneedle-shaped patch made of 99% magnesium. Lab & People's microneedles, which have secured expertise in the field of bioabsorbable alloy, are made of magnesium material, which is painless and increases safety and convenience in the skin and body. Existing polymer material microneedle patches did not penetrate the skin epidermis.

In addition, metal microneedle products are decomposed into hydrogen and magnesium ions when they meet moisture in the skin without harming the human body. At this time, magnesium ion helps to improve the antioxidant effect and skin barrier. The absorption and bioavailability of active ingredients are high, so you can see the improvement effect even if you stick it on for 30 minutes.

It was also confirmed that it is effective in treating and managing acne by selectively killing or inhibiting the growth of acne bacteria. In a preliminary clinical trial conducted at Samsung Seoul Hospital for patients, it showed an improvement effect. Currently, there are no side effects and this clinical trial is underway to verify the excellence of the effect.

I am curious about the overseas expansion situation

Daewoong Pharmaceutical, which signed a contract to jointly develop microneedle medicines and supply products such as 'Easyderm', exported to China in the first quarter of this year. It is also pushing to enter the US and Japanese markets in the first half of this year. In the US market, the entry into Costco of the US has been confirmed and the initial quantity is being produced. It is also planning to enter the US Amazon.

In the case of Japan, a technology agreement is signed with Shiseido and joint development is underway. Shiseido and 'Medical Beauty' are expected to bear fruit soon. It is also exporting ODM products through collaboration with other Japanese companies. As the overseas branch business starts in April of this year, we expect a significant sales growth in the Japanese market.

In the Chinese market, a contract with a local pharmaceutical company and a branch business are being pursued, and results may begin to appear from the second half of the year at the earliest.

Others, it holds the European Cosmetics Certification (CPNP) and continues to generate sales in Europe. Exports of medical device products with a global company with a sales network in 7 Southeast Asian countries are in the discussion stage. Exports of medical devices to Southeast Asia are expected to take place.

What are your future business goals?

Lab&People's mission is to become a company that grows together with customers through technology development and value creation technology that considers people and the environment. First of all, it is accelerating its leap to become a technology unicorn company. There are many products to be released based on the world's first microneedle technology using magnesium.

Microneedle technology has a wide range of applicable fields such as medical technology and skin care. Therefore, it is working hard to develop new innovative products in the existing market through collaboration with domestic and foreign large hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers. The current roadmap is to raise the corporate value to more than 1 trillion won by 2024 and challenge IPO. Since last year, it has participated in domestic and international exhibitions and achieved 250% sales growth compared to the previous year, so listing is becoming visible.

* Source - Beauty Nuri

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