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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

Amway’s Artistry Intensive Skincare Anti-Wrinkle Firming Serum


Amway Corporation, based in Ada, Michigan, is a multinational company selling products primarily in the health and beauty markets.

In 2011, Amway Corporation introduced Artistry Intensive Skincare Anti-Wrinkle Firming Serum, a vitamin A-containing product proven to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging with fewer unpleasant side effects. The basis for the serum — which is currently marketed in 22 countries — is a combination of vitamin A and naturally occurring epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors developed by U-M School of Dermatology Chair John Voorhees and his colleague, Professor of Molecular Dermatology Gary Fisher.

The concept for this technology arose when Voorhees attended a presentation by the University of Pennsylvania research group headed by Dr. Albert Kligman, who had found that some patients treated with a vitamin A-based drug (Retin-A) for acne had fewer wrinkles. “I was interested in whether it might be possible to mitigate the negative side e ects of vitamin A,” Voorhees recalls, “which include thickening, reddening and peeling of the skin.”

Voorhees and Fisher began to research new formulations that would mitigate these side effects, which cause most people to stop using vitamin A retinoids before obtaining benefits. After discovering the activity that caused the un-wanted side effects, they looked for compounds that suppressed those effects while allowing the desired activity of vitamin A to occur. After many years of work, they had the answer: naturally occurring compounds that inhibit the epidermal growth factor receptor.

In 2010, Michigan-based Amway licensed the patent from U-M covering the combined use of the naturally occurring compounds, and employed it to help launch its new line of science-inspired treatment innovations.

Today, the Artistry Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Serum is one of Amway’s top-selling products worldwide. And the Amway–University of Michigan partnership continues through research grants that support the work of Fisher, who also serves on the company’s Scientific Advisory Board.

“Collaborating with top researchers and academics goes a long way towards ensuring Amway distributors and our customers have exclusive access to highly competitive and di erentiated products that provide them with the best-possible bene ts and experience.” says David Groh, Amway’s manager of health and beauty, and new technology.

[source: U-M Innovation Partnerships 2013 Impact Report]