We risk skin damage every time we step into the sun, whether for work, play, or travel. The sun’s UV rays cause inflammation and sunburns, and sustained damage can lead to skin cancer, even death.
And while dermatologists plead for everyone, no matter their age, color or gender, to use sunscreen, the truth is that many people skip this important step, putting themselves at risk.
With skin cancer as the number one most common cancer in the U.S, effective treatment, protection and prevention is vital to our health. ProtoKinetix is exploring a new method for skin protection, thanks to the cell-preserving properties of our patented anti-aging glycopeptide, AAGP®. This skin protection carries the potential to not only protect skin from damage — but to actually heal it.
What causes skin damage
UV rays from the sun are a major cause of skin damage. Just five to 10 minutes of sun exposure can cause damage to the skin for people with very light complexions, and no skin type is immune to the damaging effects of UV radiation. Sun exposure can cause everything from tan lines to burns to wrinkles, spots, and melanoma.
The only true prevention for skin damage is abstinence from the sun — and even a life spent fully indoors is at risk for damage via illness, disease, environmental factors, trauma and other causes. Skin is our largest organ, and it requires effective protection if we are to remain safe and healthy.
The problem with current treatments
As it stands, effective current skin protection methods are largely physical (sun hats, long-sleeved shirts, and physical barriers such as zinc oxide). Chemical sunscreens such as octinoxate actually absorb the sun’s rays, converting them to heat. And neither traditional sunblocks nor chemical sunscreens repair damage that has already been done.
Additionally, sunscreen requires you to remember to reapply regularly, and can be rendered ineffective by too much sweat, friction or water.
How AAGP® protects skin
To combat the current shortcomings of skin protection, ProtoKinetix is exploring the potential of AAGP® to actually help skin recover from UV radiation and burns. These cause inflammation and cell death, in addition to discoloration and loss of elasticity. We believe AAGP® could treat these factors at the cellular level, preserving healthy cells, renewing damaged cells, and restoring skin to its rightful state.
Because AAGP® has the power to provide cell protection, as shown in a laboratory setting, we’re exploring the efficacy of its use as a skin protectant in the face of UVB and UVC radiation. Preliminary studies have displayed an exciting ability for AAGP® to protect both Hela and Adult skin fibroblasts against high intensity UVA and UVC wavelengths. As we study this anti-inflammatory effect, we’re also exploring modes of application that could bring AAGP to market as a widely available treatment for skin damage.
Harnessing biotechnology such as AAGP® could make a huge difference in the management of skin inflammation in decades to come. Far beyond a mere sunscreen, the cell-survivability quality inherent in AAGP® could open the door to making big strides in treating and even reversing skin cell damage.
We invite you to follow along on the journey of our world-class research team and stay up to date on new research and developments. Sign up to join our mailing list, or reach out to our investor relations team to see how you can get involved.