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Health and wellbeing challenges

Our challenges for this topic are listed below. Please read all the information – if you feel your technical solution could help us meet one of our challenges, we’d love to hear from you.

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Naturals for Microbiome control

Identification of external suppliers with libraries of functional natural and botanical derived compounds / extracts / products available for testing.

Background: An opportunity has been identified across BPC categories where consumers have an increasing preference for naturally derived formulations including those from botanical sources. It is desired to deliver functionality (antimicrobial, prebiotic, anti inflammatory etc) using natural or botanical derived products / extracts / actives. Currently there are limited libraries of functional natural compounds with the desired activity available at a cost-effective price and at relevant levels of production.

The goal of this project is to identify 3rd party suppliers who can provide materials for internal screening against relevant target endpoints. Materials with multiple functional properties are highly desired. Available materials will undergo appropriate screening at Unilever facilities against multiple end points and selected leads will be further investigated for safety and formulation compatibility in advance of potential progression to relevant clinical studies.

Materials may be used across personal care / cosmetics areas including skin care, scalp care, face care and oral care (some additional specific requirements for oral care actives).

Description:

  • Natural materials or nature identical (primarily but not limited to botanical derived actives)
  • Known activity for endpoints not limited to antimicrobial, anti inflammatory, anti oxidant, anti-biofilm.
  • Preference for non colored materials however not essential.
  • Materials available in large volume for potential market launch cosmetic grade and food grade materials desired – compliance with regulatory and safety requirements for Oral Care desired.
  • Materials available in high concentration (i.e. 10% upwards) to facilitate tests at >5% inclusion level
  • A sample of the solvent and preservative system to use as a control in assessment.
  • Non GMO.
  • Preferred non-cariogenic (Oral Care specific requirement).
  • Formulation compatibility.
  • Environmental toxicity package.
  • Compositional analysis of extracts including identification of active material.
  • Safety Package.

Desired Outcome:

  • Supply of materials in relevant quantities and format for testing at Unilever.
  • Following in vitro testing proceed to clinical studies where appropriate.
  • Exclusive supply agreement for materials between 3rd party supplier and Unilever.

What we aren’t interested in:

  • Known toxic materials, sensitizer, high heavy metals, carcinogen or other special handling or consumer safety requirement
  • Known drugs or medicines
  • Known regulatory prohibited materials
  • Materials with significant colour or odour or taste
  • Materials that will require cold shipping and selling when in a finished product
  • Materials with likely or known allergenicity risk
  • Technology knowingly owned by or licensed to 3rd party competitors of Unilever
  • Material / Formulation testing on animals post 2010
  • Drug registered materials
  • Materials with a solvent/carrier/diluent or preservation system that cannot be used in oral care (Oral Care specific requirement)

Naturals for Microbiome challenge - send an application

Prebiotics for Microbiome control

Identification of external suppliers with libraries of prebiotic ingredients available for testing.

Background: An opportunity has been identified across BPC categories where consumers have an increasing preference for prebiotic formulations including prebiotics from botanical sources. It is desired to deliver functionality (microbial control) using prebiotic materials. Currently there are limited libraries of prebiotic compounds with the desired activity available at a cost-effective price and at relevant levels of production.

The goal of this project is to identify 3rd party suppliers who can provide materials for internal screening against relevant target endpoints. Available materials will undergo appropriate screening at Unilever facilities against multiple end points and selected leads will be further investigated for safety and formulation compatibility in advance of potential progression to clinical studies.

Materials may be used across personal care / cosmetics areas including skin care, scalp care, face care and oral care (some additional specific requirements for oral care actives).

Description:

  • Prebiotic materials (materials intended for use as a growth or metabolic substrate by relevant microrganisms)
  • Preference for non colored materials however not essential.
  • Materials available in large volume for potential market launch cosmetic grade and food grade materials desired. Specific oral care grade compliance required for use by Oral Care category.
  • Non GMO.
  • Specific to oral application the material should not lead to microbial fermentation/acid production (Oral Care specific requirement).
  • Formulation compatibility.
  • Compositional analysis of extracts including identification of active material.
  • Safety Package.

Desired Outcome:

  • Supply of materials in relevant quantities and format for testing at Unilever.
  • Following in vitro testing proceed to clinical studies where appropriate.
  • Exclusive supply agreement for materials between 3rd party supplier and Unilever.

What we aren’t interested in:

  • Known toxic materials, sensitizer, high heavy metals, carcinogen or other special handling or consumer safety requirement
  • Known drugs or medicines
  • Known regulatory prohibited materials
  • Materials with significant colour or odour or taste
  • Materials that will require cold shipping and selling when in a finished product
  • Materials with likely or known allergenicity risk
  • Technology knowingly owned by or licensed to 3rd party competitors of Unilever
  • Material / Formulation testing on animals post 2010
  • Drug registered materials
  • Materials with a solvent/carrier/diluent or preservation system that cannot be used in oral care (Oral Care specific requirement)

Prebiotics for Microbiome challenge - send an application

Novel measurements of skin physiology

Finding new ways to demonstrate product efficacy and discriminate between products

Background:

  • The ability to accurately and reproducibly measure changes in physiological parameters of the skin is key to being able to demonstrate product benefits.
  • Traditional measurement capabilities whilst robust and well-validated often do not allow for the discrimination of product effects.
  • Non-invasive measurements allow greater chances of inclusion in a clinical setting
  • Measurement of skin ageing and of disrupted epidermal skin health (e.g. dryness, sensitivity etc) are of particular interest.

Description:

  • The ability to make more detailed and discriminatory measurements – or more discriminatory analysis from existing measurements – would provide increased scope for testing in open settings
  • The non-invasive collection and analysis of biomarkers would be considered
  • Relevant measurements which can be related to parameters of skin physiology and product usage are sought.

Desired Outcome:

  • Provision of novel measurement capabilities which allow the demonstration of product efficacy and product discrimination.
  • Improved analytical methods, that can demonstrate product benefit, using data generated with current instruments (Visia, primos, cutometer, TWEL etc..) deployed in skin clinical studies.
  • Ideally non-invasive measurements
  • Transferrable capabilities which could be implemented in clinical settings i.e. does not rely on panellists attending a dedicated facility
  • Meaningful measurements/analysis which can be related to skin physiology and benefit areas.

What we aren’t interested in :

  • Invasive techniques
  • Non-discriminating measurements
  • Non-transferrable measurements which cannot be deployed at non-core facilities.
  • Measurements we already use
  • Measurements which cannot be related to skin physiology

Skin physiology challenge - send an application

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