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Cyanotech receives patent for astaxanthin to retard and prevent sunburn

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII -- Cyanotech Corporation has received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its patent application entitled "Method for Retarding and Preventing Sunburn by UV Light", based on the protective properties of astaxanthin.

The patent covers the use of natural and synthetic astaxanthin as a single active ingredient to retard and prevent sunburn in both oral and topical applications. This is the third U.S. patent Cyanotech has received for the protective properties of astaxanthin.

Cyanotech produces natural astaxanthin for its BioAstin dietary supplements. The Company found in an earlier human clinical evaluation that consuming BioAstin natural astaxanthin for two weeks significantly increases the duration of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure required to create sunburn.

Natural astaxanthin has been shown to be a potent antioxidant over 500 times stronger than vitamin E, and ten times stronger than beta-carotene. Astaxanthin has also been shown to enhance and modulate the immune system. These effects, in combination or separately, may reduce the acute inflammation reaction of the skin, and tissue just beneath the skin, that follows excessive exposure to UV radiation, leading to sunburn.

Suncare companies like Sea & Ski have introduced multiple-ingredient topical products containing natural astaxanthin. And three European companies are now selling or developing oral or topical sunscreen products using BioAstin.

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Posted: June 2002