UM Researchers, Woodcliff Skincare Partner for Aloe Product Patent

NCNPR scientists have second issued patent for the ingredients in Sustainable Youth products

David Pasco (left), former associate director of the UM National Center for Natural Products Research, and Nirmal Pugh, a principal scientist at the center, began studying the immune properties of compounds found in aloe vera more than 20 years ago. The team has been issued a joint patent for one of those compounds used by Woodcliff Skincare Solutions Inc. in its line of skin care products. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi researchers, along with Woodcliff Skincare Solutions Inc., have been jointly issued a patent for Alasta, the main ingredient in a line of skin care products being sold under the brand name Sustainable Youth.

The primary ingredient in Alasta is derived from the aloe vera plant and is responsible for the clinically observed effects of enhanced skin firmness and wrinkle reduction. The composition contains aloeride, an immune-enhancing extract that was previously patented by the university and licensed to Woodcliff.

Plants such as aloe have a natural community of bacteria, said Nirmal Pugh, principal scientist in the School of Pharmacy‘s National Center for Natural Products Research. The beneficial compounds produced by the bacteria are concentrated and used in the manufacturing of Alasta.

“Having another patent for our aloe-derived composition greatly strengthens the intellectual property surrounding the Sustainable Youth product line and illustrates the innovative research being performed at UM and what can be accomplished through a strong collaborative effort to advance technology,” Pugh said.

Pugh and David Pasco, former associate director of the Ole Miss natural products center, were part of a team in the late ’90s who investigated aloe’s immune properties. The research has been used to guide clinical studies and product development for products beneficial for skin health.

“This latest United States patent issuance is a testament to the university’s long-standing partnership with Woodcliff Skincare Solutions,” said Michael Mosher, associate director of the UM Office of Technology Commercialization. “Over the past decade, dedication to this research has resulted in over a dozen international patents, culminating in this most recent U.S. patent.

“We look forward to continuing to work together to develop products for the skin care market.”

Product commercialization began once the center’s findings about aloeride were published in a peer-reviewed journal and a cosmetics industry executive approached UM about licensing the extract. After the Woodcliff partnership was established, cosmetic expert formulators collaborated with university researchers to combine it with other ingredients to create Alasta.

“We are very excited that our latest patent covering Alasta has now issued,” said Mary Coon, a brand development consultant with Woodcliff. “We value our partnership with the University of Mississippi a great deal and look forward to expanding our joint portfolio for our mutual benefit.”

Woodcliff’s social media consultant has created more than 1,000 new followers, publishes regular social media content on Facebook and Instagram, and works with numerous bloggers who comment on its products.

In addition, Woodcliff arranged to have its products listed on Amazon Prime in an effort to expand visibility for its products in the cosmetic market.