How OneSkin Developed the OS-01 Peptide

Our Goal: To develop Products Capable of Slowing & Reversing Skin Aging

Reference Lab

April 13, 2022

With thousands of skin care products claiming to reduce the signs of aging, it's oftentimes challenging to distinguish between validated science-based results and clever marketing. Unfortunately, most products in the "anti-aging" industry fall into the latter category, with little evidence to support their effects on skin aging. OneSkin is changing that.

Here at OneSkin, we dive deep into the science of how and why our skin ages, validating new and existing “anti-aging” molecules against our cutting-edge R&D platform not only for their rejuvenation effects, but for their effects on long-term skin health. That is how we developed a line of science-driven Topical Supplements aimed at extending skinspan, the length of time that skin is healthy and functional.

What’s the secret to our highly effective line of Topical Supplements? They are powered by the first molecule proven to reduce the biological age of skin (in vitro): a novel peptide, called OS-01.

So what is OS-01, and how did we develop it?

01 Our Target: Cellular Senescence

To understand why OS-01 is so effective against skin aging, we must first understand the process of aging that the OS-01 peptide disrupts: cellular senescence.

One of the 9 hallmarks of aging, cellular senescence is a biological process in which a cell permanently halts replication and proliferation. To keep a long story short, senescent cells release inflammatory factors that accelerate aging, and they also emit signals that force neighboring cells into senescence.

As we age, our body becomes less effective at eliminating senescent cells from our bodies, causing them to build up and linger in our tissues, subsequently accelerating the biological aging process. In skin, this increased senescent burden leads to a weakened skin barrier and deterioration of skin health, which accelerates the development of visible symptoms of aging, such as fine lines, sagging, and thinning.

So how do you prevent senescent cells from accumulating in tissues? There exists a revolutionary class of molecules called “senotherapeutics” that are able to reduce the build up of senescent cells in tissues, serving as an effective strategy to slow and even reverse aging. Human application of senotherapeutic molecules has the potential to prevent the onset of age-related diseases and extend human healthspan.

Given senotherapeutic’s promising potential, our founding team of longevity scientists set out to develop such a molecule capable of reducing the accumulation of senescent cells, specifically in skin tissue.

02How the OS-01 Peptide was Developed

Starting in 2016, our founding team of female PhDs underwent a rigorous R&D process to develop the most effective senotherapeutic compound effective at reducing cellular senescence in skin.

To begin this process, OneSkin’s R&D team used computational algorithms to identify a library of over 800 novel peptides predicted to have substantial senotherapeutic properties. Each peptide was then evaluated for its effectiveness at reducing the amount of senescent cells in lab-grown human skin models, effectively quantifying the peptides’ senotherapeutic capabilities.

From this process, our scientific team identified 2 peptides (OS-01 and OS-02) with an unprecedented ability to reduce cellular senescence in skin. After further testing against our cutting-edge R&D platform to evaluate each peptide’s full potential for improving skin health and rejuvenating skin, OS-01 proved the most effective. OS-01 was superior at reducing the biological age of skin (measured by MolClock) and improving other skin health markers, such as epidermal thickness, cellular repair, and collagen production.

OS-01 is now our patent-pending, proprietary peptide, which we deliver to you though our line of OS-01 Topical Supplements.

03How Effective is the OS-01 Peptide at Targeting Cellular Senescence?

Measuring the effectiveness of molecules at reducing cellular senescence is relatively simple. By staining skin models with a chemical that selectively colors senescent cells blue (beta galactosidase), we can count the number of senescent cells (blue) underneath the microscope before and after exposure to compounds of interest.

Using this technique, we found that the OS-01 peptide reduced the number of senescent cells in human skin models by up to 50%, making the OS-01 peptide the most effective senotherapeutic compound tested from our library of over 800 promising peptides.

By staining lab-grown human skin models with beta galactosidase, OneSkin scientists were able to measure the number of senescent cells before and after exposure to the OS-01 peptide. The OS-01 peptide reduced the number of senescent cells in human skin models by up to 50%.

04What Does This Mean for Skin Aging?

Our team of scientists was also able to measure the biological age of skin before and after exposure to the OS-01 peptide using MolClock–a computational algorithm that can predict skin’s biological age based on its genetic material.

Utilizing genetic analysis and MolClock, the biological age of skin was measured before (control) and after 5 days of exposure to the OS-01 peptide.

Astoundingly, after only 5 days of exposure to the OS-01 peptide, the skin’s biological age was reduced by 2.5 years, making the OS-01 peptide the first molecule scientifically proven to reduce skin’s biological age!

These results confirm that topically applying our novel senotherapeutic compound, the OS-01 peptide, to skin is indeed an effective way to reduce the senescent burden in skin tissue, slowing the skin aging process, and subsequently reducing the biological age of skin.

Key Takeaways

  • Senescent (aged) cells accumulate in the skin, accelerating the aging process and leading to a deterioration of skin health which contributes to visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and skin sagging.
  • Oneskin is the first company specifically targeting cellular senescence as a skin rejuvenation approach.
  • By screening a library of over 800 peptides against our cutting-edge R&D platform, OneSkin discovered the OS-01 peptide, which was superior in reducing senescent cells in skin and improving skin health markers.
  • The OS-01 peptide is the first molecule scientifically proven to reduce skin’s biological age by reducing senescent burden in skin .

Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

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