NeoStrata Celebrating 26 Years of Dermatologist Developed Skin Care: Our Heritage
Meet the Visionaries... Dr. Ruey J. Yu, OMD, PhD
Dr. Eugene J. Van Scott
The Early Days

Dr. Van Scott established the Dermatology Branch for the National Cancer Institute and served as its Chief for over 15 years before joining Temple University Skin and Cancer Hospital. He has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Lasker Award, for outstanding research achievements in skin cancer. He has been named to the list of "Masters in Dermatology" by the American Academy of Dermatology, and received the Distinguished Service Medallion for his leadership and service to Dermatology. Dr. Yu, a well known dermatopharmacologist, was an Associate Professor at The Temple University Skin and Cancer Hospital where he conducted extensive dermatological research.

When the doctors began working together in 1966 at Temple University in Philadelphia, they shared a mutual interest in diseases of the skin. Since over fifty percent of all skin problems are due to difficulties in shedding and forming the stratum corneum, the doctors were determined to find ways to positively influence the formation of new layers of the skin. This partnership has spanned four decades and still continues today. While their early research focused on treatments for psoriasis and skin cancers, they soon broadened their focus to include numerous diseases of the skin, especially those affecting the epidermis. Their early work led to important discoveries for treatments of dry skin, ichthyosis, psoriasis, acne and other conditions involving disturbed keratinization.

The Partnership
The Study That Started It All

During a study to evaluate natural, physiologic type substances and their effects on patients with ichthyosis, Drs. Van Scott and Yu discovered that this class of compounds has a profound effect on the development, maturation and turnover of both normal and diseased epidermal skin. When ichthyosis patients returned with normal skin where these compounds were applied, the doctors were elated. They named these compounds alpha-hydroxyacids (AHAs) based on their structure and filed for their first patent (US Patent No. 3,879,537), entitled Treatment of Ichthyosiform Dermatoses, dated April 22, 1975.

Resulting from this early work was the first AHA prescription topical called Lac-Hydrin®. Lac- Hydrin® was licensed to and marketed by Westwood (a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb), and was the best-selling prescription treatment for dry skin for over 10 years. Now that the doctors' "dry skin" patents have expired, many skin care companies market products for dry skin containing one or more AHAs such as glycolic acid and lactic acid.

The First Prescription
Another Breakthrough

The next breakthrough came in the mid-1980s, during a study of the interaction of AHAs with bio-active compounds, when applied in combination to the skin. Drs. Yu and Van Scott discovered that AHAs have the ability to affect fundamental changes in the dermis when used for prolonged periods of time. While their first discoveries relating to the use of AHAs were therapeutic in nature, this later discovery caused a revolution in anti-aging skin care. Their continuing research and clinical experience has revealed that AHAs are not only beneficial in the treatment of dermatological conditions, encouraging cell turnover, but also effective in stimulating older damaged skin to rejuvenate itself.

In 1988, the doctors founded NeoStrata Company, Inc. to commercialize their research and development accomplishments. NeoStrata Company, located in Princeton, NJ, continues their research and develops and markets clinically- proven, dermatologist developed skin care brands including NeoStrata, Exuviance, CoverBlend, and NeoStrata Therapeutics. These therapeutic and cosmetic dermatological products feature unsurpassed Polyhydroxy Acid technology to meet the needs of every skin type. NeoStrata and Exuviance products are sold in over 75 countries worldwide.

Commercialization
Licensing

Avon's Anew® in the early 1990s was the first cosmetic skin care product to license the anti-aging benefits of AHAs. Drs. Van Scott and Yu have licensed their inventions over the years to several companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb (Westwood Division), Avon, Chesebrough Ponds, L'Oreal, Medecis, Pfizer, Aventis, and many others.

Their subsequent work has broadened the classification of Hydroxyacids to include Polyhydroxy Acids, such as Gluconolactone, and complex Polyhydroxy Bionic Acids, including Lactobionic Acid and Maltobionic Acid. Both classes provide anti-aging benefits and normalization of keratinization similar to traditional AHAs, but also provide additional benefits such as enhanced moisturization, antioxidant effects, and suitability for use on sensitive skin. These ingredients and their benefits have been licensed to companies including Estee Lauder, Pfizer and Dermik/Aventis.

Subsequent Work
Later Years

In later years, Dr. Van Scott entered private practice, while Dr. Yu studied Oriental Medicine. While their careers have taken them down different paths, their collaboration continues today. The doctors have more than 110 patents, Dr. Yu has published over 50 papers and Dr. Van Scott has published close to 200. They continue to work together to find treatment for skin diseases and are now mainly focused on treating psoriasis. Drs. Van Scott and Yu were awarded the 2010 Discovery Award by The Dermatology Foundation for their research discoveries and impact on the treatment of skin disease.