Kurt Farrugia

Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia has stated that in recent months, Malta Enterprise has provided increased support to start-ups, especially those with a “high element of research and development”.

This came during the launch of SkinDuoTM by Malta-based BioArte Ltd. The product is the first worldwide topical and oral therapy for acne with live bacteria, and was developed following research from the company’s labs at the Malta Life Sciences Park.

“Over the last months, we have seen Malta Enterprise advocating for start-ups. This focus is directly associated with the synergy between start-ups and research, development, and innovation (RDI),” Mr Farrugia said.

“We are going for innovative start-ups with a high element of research and development, especially since they are still in full swing to develop their core products,” he added.

“The message is clear, the tools are there, and Malta Enterprise is eager to assist,” Mr Farrugia remarked.

SkinDuoTM makes use of a combination of a topical serum that addresses the microbial disbalance on the skin and an oral food supplement aimed at balancing out the gut microbiota. It is a “one-of-a-kind” product that treats the disorder with probiotics, thus taking advantage of the good microorganisms that we already have in our bodies.

SkinDuoTM
SkinDuoTM / DOI / Clodagh O’Neill

The research and development were made possible by the aid provided by Malta Enterprise under various schemes, which amounted to over €300,000, contributing towards BioArte’s diagnostic research. It uses proprietary technology to investigate the microbial communities in our body to enable the discovery of new signatures, ingredients, and beneficial probiotics.

BioArte CEO Manuele Biazzo said that awareness that probiotics can be beneficial for skin disorders was already present, but no product had yet reached the market.

“We are the first to come up with an approach based on oral probiotics combined with a topical serum applied directly to the skin. The two treatments need to be taken simultaneously,” he explained.

Manuele Biazzo / BioArte Ltd Website
BioArte Ltd CEO Manuele Biazzo / BioArte Ltd

Dr Biazzo launched the product in the presence of Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Research and Innovation Keith Azzopardi Tanti.

Minister Dalli said that SMEs can be the main agents of innovation and positive disruption, and as a result, Malta Enterprise is there to “encourage” local and international SMEs to “strengthen their business locally and contribute via research and development” to what global innovation can be achieved in Malta.

“As more SMEs grow and flourish, they serve as a testimony to the solid foundation various schemes can provide. We encourage more innovators and start-ups to come forward to not only benefit from the schemes offered, but also because Malta Enterprise can serve as a bridge between other experts or academia that spurns new technologies, products, and innovation,” she added.

“Today we witnessed the fruition of a product that was researched in Malta,” Minister Dalli remarked.

Mr Azzopardi Tanti welcomed the work done by BioArte, adding that the Government “firmly believes” in and is “committed to continue investing” in the research and innovation industry.

“We already launched various schemes to help research and innovation to expand, encouraging partnerships between Government entities, academics, and the private sector. Next year, more schemes will be launched to ensure the expansion of research and innovation,” he concluded.

BioArte was founded in 2020 on the initiative of Dr Biazzo and Christian Duchow, with the goal to become the bridge between healthcare professionals and the microbiome. It has since become an innovative player in the field of biomolecular research, and is highly specialised in researching the human microbiota and microbial communities in other environments.

Featured Image:

Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia

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