Beauty with immunity: India’s Adroit Biomed banks on pandemic growth with dual function formulation

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Glutone MD is a sublingual tablet containing 100mg of L-glutathione. ©Adroit Biomed
Glutone MD is a sublingual tablet containing 100mg of L-glutathione. ©Adroit Biomed

Related tags India Beauty from within Immunity

Indian firm Adroit Biomed believes that there are considerable opportunities for beauty and immune dual-function products amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mumbai-based company, established in 2011, is co-founded by Sushant Raorane and Ajit Marathe.

Its products range from oral beauty supplements to hair care products.

Glutone, its flagship range, is a series of L-glutathione oral supplements for skin lightening purposes. The glutathione used in the products is SETRIA glutathione, a trademark of Japanese firm Kyowa Hakko.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, ​co-founder Sushant Raorane said the strategy amid the pandemic was to grow its range of products with dual functions, specifically, beauty and immunity benefits.

“We believe that beauty and immunity will go hand-in-hand because of this pandemic.

“In fact, we always have such products in our portfolio, but we have not spoken much about their immunity benefits previously.” 

He was referring to ‘Glutone C’ effervescent tablets which contained 500mg of L-glutathione and 60mg of vitamin C.

Another product, ‘Glutone1000’ effervescent tablets, contains 600mg of L-glutathione, 60mg of vitamin C, and 400mg of N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) – a derivative of the amino acid L-cysteine and is a precursor of glutathione.

While vitamin C is already well-known for its association with immune benefits​, he added that glutathione was also coming into spotlight, as new findings showed that glutathione existed in low amounts in COVID-19 patients.

The company’s clients are largely dermatologists and it caters to about 80 per cent of the network of 8,500 dermatologists in India. It also has a presence in 15 overseas markets, including the US, Europe, and the Middle East, via e-commerce.

Due to COVID-19, the ‘Glutone’ series saw a 10 per cent yoy drop in sales, however, prior to the pandemic, the series had brought in US$3.3m in sales and grew at a rate of 50 per cent each year.

In contrast, sales of its vitamin C supplements had increased by more than 100 per cent last year.

As such, Raorane said the company would be repurposing the ‘Glutone’ range of products by highlighting how the antioxidant activities of glutathione could have both skin lightening and antioxidant benefits for immune health.

The company’s portfolio also consists of oral supplements with moisturising effect. These products contain ceramides supplied by French firm Seppic.

New product

In line with the above strategy, Raorane said the company has launched ‘Glutone MD’, a new product made in the form of sublingual tablet containing 100mg of L-glutathione.

In fact, the product was made using a patent-pending technology.

Being sublingual, the tablet dissolves quickly when placed below the tongue. This allows L-glutathione to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. 

Since the format facilitates more efficient absorption of L-glutathione, the tablet is made much smaller, with a circumference that is only around the size of a pen cover.

The recommended intake is two to three tablets per day.

Further down the road, the company will be combining glutathione with ingredients for anti-ageing. Raorane declined to reveal further details but said the company would position the new products as "lifestyle products"​.

Wide price points provide growth

Beauty is going to be a FMCG category in India and with a wide spectrum of price points, this means that companies will have a greater room to decide on the types of products to develop, according to Raorane. 

“India is a fast-growing economy, the younger generation follows the Western lifestyle, they have the purchasing power and are chasing for quality in life, which means they will want to spend on beauty products.

“Currently, products in the market have diverse price points, from very cheap to very expensive products.

“Skin lightening is in trend at the moment, and hydration, anti-ageing, anti-acne demands are on the rise as well,” ​he said.

Asked if there is any ethnic concern behind the skin lightening category in India, he said that the purpose of skin lightening was to achieve an “even skin tone with better glow and radiance​” but some could have understood it as skin whitening.

“We are not talking about racism here. Skin lightening is about achieving an even skin tone with better glow and radiance, along with this, the skin would also become brighter by one or two shades.”

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