Updated August 29 at 7:42am

After trying year, Isis rebounding

Rebounding from a costly contract dispute with a former partner, layoffs and the death of its then-CEO, Isis Biopolymer has launched its first commercial product, a transdermal patch to reduce facial wrinkles. Here a production worker at the company’s Providence production facility inspects screen prints of the patch.

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LIFE SCIENCES

After trying year, Isis rebounding

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Rebounding from a costly contract dispute with a former partner, layoffs and the death of its then-CEO, Isis Biopolymer Inc. has launched its first commercial product, a transdermal patch to reduce facial wrinkles. Company officials say the new product could lead to renewed growth at the fledgling business located in Providence’s nascent Knowledge District.

“This is home-grown and made in Providence,” David B. Poor, chairman of the Isis board, said of the new product, which the company said is available online and in some California spas.

Following a development process that took two years at an estimated cost of $15 million and included what company officials say were extensive clinical trials, the patented Biobliss patch went on the market this summer as an over-the-counter cosmetic product designed for women, promising to reduce wrinkles for up to five days by as much as 50 percent after one hour of noninvasive treatment.

Poor called the patch an example of the latest “elegant engineering” that was not possible even five years ago because of recent advances in miniaturization and electronics packaging. The patch is virtually a “wearable computer,” Poor said, equipped with a battery and chip, delivering multiple anti-aging ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5 and collagen-stimulating peptides.

According to a product summary provided by the company, the patch benefits from “a number of trade secrets developed by working with conductive polymers and flexible circuits.” Company officials declined to specify what those trade secrets might be.

This breakthrough comes at an important time for Isis, a privately held company Michael Jordan, chief operating officer, helped established with the late Emma A. Durand in 2007 in Warwick that moved to Providence less than two years ago. Durand, CEO and chief technical officer for Isis, died in October.

About one year ago, Isis terminated its contract with a California distributor after the latter “ran into financial difficulty,” Poor said, “and pulled out” of a joint project involving the development of the cosmetic patch. The dispute hurt Isis’ cash position and resulted in litigation that is ongoing.

081511 Page One, Knowledge District, Isis Biopolymer Inc, David B. Poor, Biobliss¸ Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University, EpiVax Inc, technology, biotechnology, 26-19, issue081511export.pbn
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