News Release | Jan 21, 2016

BASF and CYTOO are conducting research on active ingredients for skin firmness

January 21, 2016, Grenoble, France

BASF and the French biotechnology company CYTOO join forces. The goal of the partnership is to develop and test active ingredients that contribute to increase skin firmness in skin care applications.

Recent research results indicate that there are some ingredients that can stimulate the contractility of human fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) and thus improve skin appearance and firmness. To investigate more deeply these cell features, CYTOO developed FibroScreen™. This unique platform is based upon a micro-patterning technology that allows the precise control of cell substrate geometry and stiffness. As part of the cooperation, BASF und CYTOO combine their expertise and resources to work on new cell-based assays, to enhance the methodological evaluation of CYTOO’s FibroScreen™ platform and to identify new active compounds able to influence the contractility of human fibroblasts.

“We are proud that, together with BASF, we can explore the effect of compounds on fibroblasts in the human skin. For us, this partnership marks an important milestone. It demonstrates that CYTOO is able to build a win-win relationship with a research team of the world’s leading chemical company to quickly advance research and deliver high-value results,” emphasized Luc Selig, CEO of CYTOO.

At a young age, skin looks smooth and radiant. The interlinked fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix with its strong network of collagen fibre bundles provide hold and elasticity to the skin. With age, skin is increasingly losing its mechanical stability, collagen levels of the skin are decreasing: The existing collagen is degraded by the enzyme collagenase. At the same time, the synthesis activities of the fibroblasts – important for the collagen production – are declining. To improve skin appearance and firmness, collagen and hyaluronic acid fillers are nowadays broadly used in skin care applications. However, they only bring a short-term effect. To provide alternative solutions to its customers, BASF – in partnership with CYTOO – is conducting research on new active ingredients with a more durable effect on skin firmness.

“We are very pleased to be one of the first companies worldwide partnering with CYTOO to validate the effects of innovative skin-based assays on skin firmness. Thanks to this cooperation, we are able to strike a new path and identify new compounds that will help our customers to be more successful,” said the responsible project manager at BASF, Valérie André-Frei. 


Created in 2008, CYTOO is a biotechnology company specialized in the development of physiologically-relevant cellular models and assays for High Content Screening (HCS). The company has developed its own models of human striated muscle (MyoScreen™) and skin (EpiScreen™, FibroScreen™) available to the pharmaceutical, dermato-cosmetic, nutraceutical, food processing and animal health sectors for screening of biologically active compounds. Independently, the enterprise has engaged in its own drug discovery business committed to treating muscle wasting and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. CYTOO has offices in Grenoble, France and Bethesda, MD, USA

About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry — and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world's leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition, and improving the quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: we create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF generated sales of over €74 billion in 2014 and had around 113,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA), and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at

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