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Intelligent Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation Filters

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SMART UV (Intelligent Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation Filters)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2020-03-31

3M non-melanoma and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year, of which about 65% to 95% of cases are related to sun exposure and a history of sunburn and, therefore, preventable. Patients with malignant melanoma have a life expectancy of 24 months and current treatment costs are about 1.5M€ per patient. With melanoma increasing worldwide at a rate of 3% per year, the cost of treatment will become unaffordable. The good news are that about 85% of the 3M non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun, so they could be prevented. Sunscreens are an important aspect of photoprotection and skin cancer prevention as they can block/absorb a fraction of the solar irradiance impinging on the skin. However, they present several drawbacks
- Poor efficiency,
- Instability,
- Adverse events
- Large production required, non-ecosustainable productions with large amounts of waste material
- Non-environmentally friendl
Roka Furadada (Roka), a spin-off from successful research carried out by Ferrer International, has developed SMART UV, ultraviolet filters that are activated by the sun’s radiation. They are able to respond to high doses of radiation while maintaining protection for up to 6 times longer than competitors . At Roka we aim to develop and market new molecules with therapeutic activity to prevent and treat skin diseases associated with sun exposure. As of today, we have produced the first intelligent ultraviolet radiation (UV) filters, SMART UV. Our next and ambitious objective is to upgrade and produce our filters on a large-scale and to fully develop our first cosmetic product, a sunscreen.
Roka Furadada was born with the aim of developing and marketing intelligent UV filters within the framework of its main activity, which is the research and development of new active ingredients for therapeutic and/or cosmetic use, and the development of cosmetic products and/or corresponding medical devices with these assets.
Roka Furadada represents the continuity of an R&D project that started at Laboratorios Ferrer (Spain) in 2005 and owns the intellectual property related to smart UV filters built during these years of research (WO06100225, WO2011045389_IQ, WO2015177064A1).
The first stage of this project was the development from idea to prototype where we focused on the design and synthesis of structures with photoprotective capacity proportional to the radiation dose received. Various tests were carried out on the prototypes to see which compounds had the desired effect, the most effective in terms of synthesis, costs and characteristics were identified.
We developed a series of known and approved filter precursors to demonstrate the feasibility of the progressive photoprotector concept. We worked on increasing their efficiency, optimizing its safety for the user and minimizing their environmental impact. For this step, the encapsulation of these progressive filters in a silica matrix proved to be extremely efficient addressing those issues. Silica is a natural and chemically inert material, the environmental impact of the encapsulated progressive filters is minimal, as their release to the outside is avoided.
SMART UV filters offer many competitive advantages when compared with the 28 solar filters currently authorized in the EU and 16 authorized in the United States. SMART UV filters have much lower toxicity as they are covalently joined to a silicon matrix, which does not allow their absorption by the human body or the environment. Furthermore, as SMART UV filters do not degrade under UVR nor create hazardous byproducts that require stabilizers, so their toxicity levels are very low or even null.
Using these filters as active ingredients, we will be able to produce a sunscreen that will protect consumers during sun exposure, regardless of the dose of UV that reaches them, the type of skin, the time of exposure, and both consumers and marine ecosystems will be exposed to fewer chemical side-products.
SMART UV main benefits are:
- High UVR-dose independent
- Lower toxicity and environmental impact
- Eco sustainable production
- Better absorption properties

The SMART UV filters will help create a safe, non-toxic, long-lasting, efficient sunscreen that is also extremely environmentally friendly.
Roka Furadada