Dandruff, as we know, is one the biggest cosmetic problems of the day. It can even lead to severe hair loss in the long run, if right attention is not paid at the right time. At the same time, there is no trusted product in the market, that is based on biotechnological research and could be relied upon for durable results. Working in this direction, the Biotechnicare incubated at ICGEB in 2011, initiated a project for the development of a nanotechnology-based anti-dandruff hair gel. The objective of the project is to provide a promising solution to the widespread problem of dandruff, with the help of modern techniques of nano-biotechnology. The hair gel will be a product based on three independent and unique approaches. One of them will be a nanotechnology-based hydrogel. The other two will be based on molecules, rationally designed or identified with the help of advanced tools of biotechnology, dually targeted to eliminate the root cause of dandruff.
Revealing the details, Mr Akash Saini, head, scientific affairs, Biotechnicare said, "A number of teams from ICGEB have been participating in the ABLE's BEST program over the years. Since our project is biotechnology based, we realized that it would be a great platform to present our idea to such eminent and experienced people in the field and get their reviews. As most of us are winding up our PhD theses, we have not been able to devote much time in taking the project forward since the last six months."
Apart from Mr Akash Saini, the other members of the team comprise of Mr Paresh Patel, chief executive officer; Ms Kaveri Sidhu, head, marketing; Ms Shivani Kanodia, head, finance; and Ms Prasida Holla, founding member. The team chanced upon this idea for project while pursuing their doctoral research under Dr V S Chauhan, director at ICGEB in 2011.
"At present we do not have any other sources of funding, apart from the BEST Award money. However, we plan to apply for the BIRAC BIG grant to take our project to the proof-of-concept phase. Most of our initial research came from the PhD research work of Mr Saini," says Mr Paresh Patel, CEO of the start up that is yet to function in its full-fledged state.
Sharing his thoughts on the PPPs, Mr Saini opined, "We feel that PPP in biotech industry is very essential to hold and nurture the talent in India. In fact, it is very important for the growth of biotech industry in the country. Biotechnology is a capital-intensive industry. Getting such huge amount of funds only from private sources can be tough as well as risky for start-ups and young entrepreneurs. The government needs to step in the early stages to help in the R&D with funds and academic mentorship, as well as in the later stages of research."
The project is relevant and will remain so in future, considering that it is aimed at producing a novel hair care product, based upon latest advancements in the field of biotechnology. It is aimed for better efficacy than the existing anti-dandruff products and therefore has a great market potential. "At this moment, we cannot disclose more details of the technology, as the idea is still in the nascent stage. We plan to renew our efforts within the next 2-3 months time," concluded Mr Saini.