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Eurostars project under Research Cooperation Agreements.
An Italian SME formulating composition of nutraceuticals and synthesizing organic compounds as nanoparticles, is looking for partners to develop medical device applications


Profile Type
Research & Development Request
POD Reference
Term of Validity
14 November 2023 - 13 November 2024
Company's Country
Type of partnership
Research and development cooperation agreement
Targeted Countries
All countries
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General information

Short Summary
The Italian SME is developing conventional nutraceutical compositions in which each compound is reduced to nanoparticle size. Compositions are being developed as a medical device, both to prevent and treat non-contagious skin diseases. The company is seeking partners to jointly apply to Eurostars proposal under Research Cooperation Agreements.
Full Description
Ageing and other stresses, from UV irradiation to radiotherapy, induce deterioration of the skin’s morphology and function. Changes in skin collagen can cause dysfunction of skin cells, such as fibroblasts and keratinocytes, resulting in inflammation and skin damages. To treat these skin problems it is possible to act with topic applications of active ingredients, which must be left for several hours in contact with the skin. The prolonged contact of substances in contact with the skin induces the activity of enzymes that degrade the compounds and can in turn cause cellular damages. A proteolytic network inside the epidermis, comprising more than 30 enzymes that contribute to the maintenance of the essential functions of the skin, can degrade the added molecules from outside and decrease their action resulting in unwanted side effects or reduced effectiveness of the compounds themselves. Therefore, active ingredients with a reduced development of side effects and devices that reflect the practical needs of the end user are needed. Some nutraceuticals, as N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and N-acetylcarnitine (Alcar), have shown potential novel effects useful both to prevent and treat skin ageing, skin inflammation and skin collagen degeneration. Nanoparticles of these and other compounds have been developed and studied in vitro showing a very increased anti-inflammatory potency, a decrease of the expression of pathological metalloproteinases and an increase in the synthesis of collagen type II. However, other effects of nano-GlcNAc and nano-Alcar must be evaluated and their composition with other compounds must be developed. The activity of compositions on skin damages must be broadly evaluated. Moreover, to protect the composition each nanoparticles must be trapped in suitable surfaces, which can also release the active substance in a controlled manner. The surfaces must be appropriate to the amount of compound but must also be practical to apply to the skin surface. They must be impermeable where necessary and not cause discomfort, such as itching, to those who must carry them for several consecutive hours.

The start-up is looking to further develop the medical device entrapping technology, built on the proof of concept work done, and to generate in vivo data required for the technology to enter pre-clinical and clinical studies. They are proposing an Eurostars project that will finalise the formulation for devices such as creams, gels, patches, bandages.
They aim at optimising the synthesis of nutraceuticals in commercial use into corresponding nanoparticles in order to study their activity in skin cells and to test the effects of the nutraceutical composition on biomarkers of skin inflammation, degeneration and extracellular matrix synthesis.

The start-up is looking for partners with expertise to support this development programme, especially in construction of devices and in vivo modelling for medical devices, tissue modelling, as well as partners operating in the medical device sector interested in disposable products for skin applications. It is envisaged that the partnerships will be in the form of Research Cooperation Agreements.
Advantages and Innovations
The majority of described NPs are liposomes or polymers coating an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). Their synthesis requires organic solvents, and the nanostructure accounts for about 60% of the total molecular weight, so only a small amount of API is actually delivered. To overcome these problems we use high-energy mill technology where water is used as a solvent and the API is represented at 85%-90% of the molecular weight of the structure. The process is fine-tuned, is cost-effective and scalable and uses an aqueous solvent. These features constitute great advantages for the industry, the decrease of dosage represents a great advantage for the end users and the use of water as main solvent represents a great advantage in the ecological transition.

The company developed the process to produce some nutraceuticals such as nanoparticles using the aqueous solvent and obtaining organic dendrimers where the compound represent the majority of the nanoparticle weight. In the case of nano-GlcNAc the molecule has an anti-inflammatory potency 2000 folds higher than the traditional current product. The start-up found a novel biological effect because the nanoparticles reduce the synthesis of metalloproteinases and increases the synthesis of type II collagen. These properties were not described for the traditional compound. The nano-Alcar shows an antiinflammatory potency 1000 folds higher than conventional material. The composition of both compounds shows undescribed biological effects representing an innovation in the field.
Stage of Development
Lab tested
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
IPR description
The start-up is looking for partners like companies, universities or research organisation that have the following expertise:

1. Expertise in vivo modelling for medical devices in topic applications. The start-up is looking for a skin model of damages by radiotherapy or diabetes or ageing.

2. Expertise in design and production of the medical device for topical applications. Different formulation of nanoparticles must be used for topical application on human skin (creams, gels, patches, bandages or similar that allow the efficient release of a cocktail of active nanoparticles for skin care).

3. Expertise in drugs for skin disorders.

4. The start-up is looking for partners expert in regulatory affairs at European level.

Partner Sought

Expected Role of a Partner
The partners will be consortium partners in an Eurostars submission and will be expected to contribute to writing the proposal as well as carrying out activities within the project based on their expertise. The partnerships will be Research Cooperation Agreements.
Type and Size of Partner
R&D InstitutionSME 11-49SME 50 - 249SME <=10
Type of partnership
Research and development cooperation agreement

Call details

Framework program
Call title and identifier
Eurostars call for projects MAR 2024
Coordinator required
Deadline for EoI
Deadline of the call
Web link to the call


Technology keywords
06004 - Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences006001002 - Care and Health Services06001013 - Medical Technology / Biomedical Engineering06001015 - Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs06001002 - Clinical Research, Trials
Market keywords
04017 - Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences04009 - In vitro Testing, Trials04012 - Toxicology05007007 - Other medical/health related (not elsewhere classified)
Targeted countries
All countries