Amway Collaborates with Yale University Researcher on the Biology of Skin Pigmentation

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 General News
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Research aimed at developing safe and effective treatments for disfiguring skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation

ADA, Mich., May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Amway and Yale University researcher Dr. John

Pawelek, have entered into an exclusive three-year agreement to research the biological mechanisms underlying skin pigmentation. The long-term research goal is to better understand human skin pigmentation disorders, including hyperpigmentation, and develop innovative, safe and effective therapies for these hard-to-treat and often psychologically painful conditions.

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Hyperpigmentation, a skin condition that results in non-uniform coloration on the face and hands, can be caused by sun damage, inflammation or other skin injuries, such as acne. People with darker skin tones, including Asian, Mediterranean and African populations, are more prone to the condition.  Hyperpigmentation has been shown to have a considerable psychological impact on sufferers. Although several therapies are available, potentially significant side-effects have been associated with these treatments.

"Hyperpigmentation is difficult to treat, especially in dark-skinned individuals," said Dr. John Pawelek, senior researcher at Yale University.  "If in-vitro models could be used to screen for potential inhibitors of pigmentation, this would represent a large step forward toward the development of truly effective treatments for this emotionally and socially challenging skin condition."

Skin cancer research led by Dr. Pawelek has helped identify several novel aspects of the cell biology of melanocytes, the cells that synthesize the pigment melanin. Yale University and Amway have entered into an agreement with the intent to research and expand on these findings jointly.  Initial research will focus on determining whether the unique cell biology of melanoctyes from human melanoma biopsy samples is also present in experimental models, including cell and tissue cultures.  

"Through our partnership, we hope to identify new technologies to enhance the performance of our ARTISTRY® whitening products," stated Catherine Ehrenberger, vice president, R&D and Quality Assurance for Amway.  "We are looking forward to continuing our commitment to providing high-quality products that help women achieve their desired complexions."

About HyperpigmentationHyperpigmentation is a skin condition that causes the darkening of certain areas of the skin due to an excess production of melanin, the pigment responsible for producing color in human hair, skin and eyes. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes in the interior layer of the epidermis (the skin's protective outer layer).

About ARTISTRYARTISTRY ( is among the world's top five, largest selling, premium skincare brands*, and is sold in more than 80 countries and territories worldwide exclusively from Amway. A leader in developing exclusive patented technologies, ARTISTRY meets the unique characteristics of skincare needs for people of different ethnicities and maintains one of the largest, globally diverse skin research databases. ARTISTRY has a complete line of skincare and cosmetics covering basic needs: basic skincare, age-defying skincare, whitening skincare, intensive treatments and luxury skincare, as well as cheek, lip, eye and face colour.

About AmwayAmway ( is one of the world's largest direct selling businesses. Amway's parent company, Alticor Inc., reported global sales of $9.2 billion in 2010. Founded in 1959 and based in Ada, Michigan, USA, Amway offers consumer products and business opportunities in more than 80 countries and territories worldwide. Amway's top-selling brands are NUTRILITE® vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, ARTISTRY® skincare and colour cosmetics, and eSpring® water treatment systems. The company provides product development, manufacturing and logistics services through its Access Business Group and Alticor Corporate Enterprises divisions. For company news, visit For media questions: contact Corporate Communications at 616-787-7565 (Michigan, United States) or

*Euromonitor International Limited; Beauty and Personal Care database; premium cosmetics sector; global 2009 RSP; global brand name classification.



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