Conagen innovates novel natural-source retinol for cosmetic formulations

Bedford, Mass., Aug. 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Conagen, the bioplatform innovator and biomanufacturer, has developed a first-of-its-kind, natural-sourced class of sustainable retinol derivative ingredients through precision fermentation. This achievement in new retinol active ingredients reshapes beauty and personal care applications.

“Conagen is ready to commercialize these retinoid ingredients in 2024,” said VP of Flavors and Fragrances, Yisheng Wu, Ph.D. at Conagen. “Beauty and personal care brands seeking the newest technology in retinol formulation flexibility are encouraged to explore Conagen’s retinoid ingredients.”

Conagen’s retinoids derivatives are created by covalently binding retinoids with another cosmetic active ingredient into a single molecule. The retinol is produced with a 100% renewable carbon source through the precision fermentation process. Through the fusion of retinol and a second complementary ingredient, the technology offers consumers functionalities that extend beyond wrinkle reduction and anti-aging benefits.

“This new development empowers cosmetic formulators to create products that excel in both performance and innovation, aligning with the ever-evolving demands of today’s discerning consumers,” said Wu. “By providing enhanced stability, controlled release, and multifunctional capabilities, Conagen’s retinoid derivatives redefine the possibilities within the cosmetic industry.”

A notable feature of Conagen’s innovative retinoid variants is their adaptability. Depending on the selected partner for pipeline integration, these compounds introduce flexibility, enabling cosmetic formulators to incorporate a secondary function. This presents opportunities for inventive features that uniquely enhance cosmetic formulations.

Pushing the limits in creative beauty, Conagen’s primary achievement lies in the improved stability these retinoid derivatives provide. This enhanced stability enables cosmetic products to ensure a consistent and extended release of retinol, resulting in long-lasting effects on the skin. Traditional retinol is known to cause skin irritation, such as redness, dryness, and peeling. Conagen’s retinol ingredients aid in the formulation of low-irritation retinol products. These ingredients are compatible with other compounds, such as squalene, bakuchiol, and pomegranate extract, maximizing delivery and effectiveness while minimizing potential off-target effects.

According to Innova Market Insights, online consumer searches for retinol in beauty and personal care are rising. With approximately 1 million tags on Instagram and a growing trend, the demand for this anti-aging active ingredient continues to surge. Innova’s global report highlights consumers prioritizing anti-aging and anti-acne properties in skincare, followed by blemish reduction.

The success of this retinol innovation originates from the unique high-yield carotenoid platform led by Wu, who has worked on the project for years. This meticulously studied platform has yielded numerous widely utilized carotenoid compounds, including beta-carotene and astaxanthin. By introducing additional steps in the metabolic pathway, Conagen can make retinol at high efficiency. This same versatile platform holds the potential to generate various flavors, fragrances, and nutritional compounds derived from carotenoids, further underlining its significance.

“Conagen’s achievement underscores its steadfast commitment to pushing the boundaries of biotechnology and driving innovation,” said Wu. “As the cosmetic industry undergoes transformation toward clean and sustainable, Conagen remains at the forefront of transformative advancements, poised to contribute to a new era in cosmetic formulation.”

About Conagen

Conagen is a product-focused, synthetic biology R&D company with large-scale manufacturing capabilities. Our scientists and engineers use the latest synthetic biology tools to develop high-quality, sustainable, nature-based products by precision fermentation and enzymatic bioconversion. We focus on the bioproduction of high-value ingredients for food, nutrition, flavors and fragrances, beauty, personal care, pharmaceutical, and renewable materials industries.


Ana Capretz, Head of Public Relations and Communications

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8898570

INVNT.ATOM™ Launches BZAR™ a Patent Pending, Interactive Platform Redefining Virtual Commerce, Immersive Engagement, and Community Building for Brands and Fans

Singapore, Aug. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — INVNT.ATOM™, the digital and Web3 innovation division of [INVNT GROUP] THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT™ introduces BZAR™, the GROUP’s patent-pending, self-funded, content-led digital platform, built exclusively for brands and fans. The now available-to-demo platform enables next-gen collaboration, connection, and co-creation with communities in the virtual world. With BZAR, brands can create custom and immersive experiences tailored precisely to their needs utilizing curated photorealistic environments, proactive immersive commerce, and Web3 integrated features to engage with their consumers, build communities, and drive new commercial opportunities.

Built upon WebGL and WebGPU, our scalable platform features a comprehensive suite of tools that bring brand narratives to life in virtual worlds with features such as multiplayer interaction, real-time communication, and synchronized video streaming. With 29 unique patent claims, BZAR revolutionizes new and existing revenue streams for brands based on their specific strategic needs; while engaging their communities with always-on, custom-curated interactive experiences that amplify storytelling, deepen connections, boost loyalty, drive revenue and capture unparalleled engagement intelligence and data”, said Scott Cullather, President & CEO, [INVNT GROUP] and CEO, INVNT.ATOM.  “[INVNT GROUP] has always been at the forefront of creating compelling and impactful brandstories around the world and we see Web3 and our proprietary virtual platform, BZAR, as a critical component of any successful marketing strategy and the next great frontier of brandstory.”

Key features and Web3 integrations of the BZAR platform include:

  1. Expansive Environments: Real-time rendering (generated by AI) of interactive environments to minimize loading time without sacrificing graphics quality.
  2. Multiplayer Interactions: Communicate seamlessly in real-time with thousands of users to create a vibrant and continuous social atmosphere.
  3. NFT Ticketing: Issuers can offer consumers a secure and transparent way of issuing and managing data collection for their events, whilst recipients can take advantage of unique experiences.
  4. Cross-Platform: Accessible across desktop, tablet, mobile, VR, and mixed reality technologies for a seamless shopping experience across devices and platforms.
  5. Synchronized Video Streaming: Real-time, synchronized video streams on any 3D surface for a fully immersive multimedia experience.
  6. Avatar Creation and Customization: Users can personalize avatars to discover, play, and explore, as well as try on and shop digital products.
  7. Social Integration: Integrating social feeds and community invitations to foster community engagement. Text and voice chat, social media feeds, video calls, and private rooms for friends.
  8. Interactive Actions: Action buttons for users to trigger dynamic events within the 3D environment, enhancing exploration and discovery.
  9. Audio Triggers: Incorporating audio triggers, BZAR elevates sensory immersion, creating a dynamic and engaging sonic landscape.
  10. Marketplace: Connect your virtual commerce experience to your IRL footprint with a digital marketplace that also empowers your community to buy-and-sell.
  11. Mini-games and Private Rooms for Friends: Fostering new communities to amplify engagement, brands can integrate mini-games and private rooms for their fans to collaborate amongst each other through custom interactions, leaderboard integration, and emotes.

BZAR was built for brands to seize on the possibilities enabled by this wave of emerging technologies. BZAR is a canvas for creativity and consumer connection, integrating new technologies such as AI-adapted mechanisms that can generate unimagined virtual worlds and environments,” said Laura Roberts, Managing Director, [INVNT GROUP] APAC.

Brands and organizations interested in discovering the possibilities of virtual commerce can request a demo here.

About BZAR™
BZAR is a patent pending, comprehensive virtual experience platform that integrates immersive storytelling into virtual worlds. BZAR provides the tools brands need to create unique, “always on ” immersive experiences that captivate and engage consumers beyond traditional digital channels. A beacon for brands to enter the metaverse through cutting edge technology, BZAR’s extensive suite of strategic partners include Livewire, AWS, BlockTrust, Polygon, Trident3, and more.  For more information on BZAR’s always-on immersive virtual world, visit:

INVNT.ATOM, part of [INVNT GROUP] THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT™, is an innovation and brand experience agency devoted to helping global brands chart a course, navigate, activate, and create new opportunities at the digital frontier of Web3. Headquartered in Singapore, the collective of strategists, marketers, creators, programmers, matchmakers, and thought leaders, turn strategies into stories and stories into experiences that engage communities on the global stage. For more information about INVNT.ATOM, visit:

[INVNT GROUP] was established as an evolution of the founding global live brand storytelling agency INVNT. Led by President and CEO, Scott Cullather, [INVNT GROUP], THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT™ represents a portfolio of disciplines designed to help forward-thinking organizations innovate and impact audiences everywhere. The GROUP consists of modern brand strategy firm, Folk Hero; creative-led culture consultancy, Meaning; production studio & creative agency, HEVĒ; events for colleges and universities, INVNT Higher Ed; digital innovation division, INVNT.ATOM; creative multimedia experience studio, Hypnogram; and the original live brand storytelling agency, INVNT. For more information visit

Media Kit  (High-Res Imagery and Video)


Paola Cracknell
+61 452 452 051

Jhonathan Mendez de Leon

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8898426

Government extends pension funds, dollar domestic debt exchange expiration deadlines

The Government has opened an administrative window for the GHS31 billion pension funds and USD809 million domestic notes and bonds to August 25, 2023.

The move is to allow bondholders who have not tendered additional time to secure internal approvals to participate in the debt exchange programme, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday.

The announcement date for both programmes is now on or about Monday, August 28, 2023, with September 1, 2023, as the Settlement Date, while the Longstop Date was Monday, September 4, 2023.

The issue date, interest accrual schedules, payment schedules, and amortisation schedules for the New Bonds will be adjusted to reflect the actual settlement date, the Ministry stated.

The Government on July 14 and July 31, 2023, domestic debt exchange pursuant to which it invited Eligible Holders to exchange approximately USD809mn of its dollar-denominated domestic notes and bonds and a swap of GHS31bn in pension funds for new ones.

That was part of efforts to address its liquidity challenges in the country under the US$3bn International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan-support programme.

‘The Government would like to thank all eligible holders who have so far tendered their eligible bonds.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Slave Trade: Africa deserves formal apology for crimes committed – President Akufo-Addo

European nations involved in the slave trade and its associated crimes against African people should render a formal apology, says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

‘No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its consequences, which spanned many centuries,’ he noted.

Addressing the opening session of a summit dubbed the ‘Global Convening for the Restitution of African Heritage’, at the W.E.B. du Bois Centre, in Accra, he said the time was long overdue.

The crimes and damage caused to the people, psyche, image and character of Africans the world over, demanded that the perpetrators of the slave trade formally admitted their guilt, he advised.

The three-day summit is being organised under the auspices of the Open Society Foundations – the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance and human rights.

It focuses on interrogating key questions to continue to advance and build a resilient and sustainable restitution movement.

The activities include interactive thematic sessions, networking for key stakeholders including, representatives from the African Union (AU) as well as the West African regional block, ECOWAS, United Nations agencies, artists and academia.

The convening is being held amid global pressure and demand for the repatriation of African heritage, particularly stolen cultural relics and artefacts which embodied the identity of the people.

At its 44th plenary meeting on December 6, 2021, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution titled ‘Return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin’, proposed by Greece and supported by an unprecedented 111 countries.

The resolution recognises the importance of the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, together with other international conventions.

It enjoins member States to consider becoming parties to conventions that specifically address the return and restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin.

President Akufo-Addo urged Africans to engage with those from the Diaspora and form a united front to advance the cause of reparations.

‘Restitution, return, reparation and repatriation of stolen and looted African cultural properties at the precolonial and colonial circumstances, have to be issues of major concern to all Africans.

‘I support fully the initiative for the return and reparation of African cultural properties to the continent.

‘My government’s vision is in line with the aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063, which envisages an Africa with strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics,’ he assured.

The President explained that most of the cultural properties, when returned, would also offer the people the opportunity to develop local knowledge, technological, cultural and aesthetic value of the objects.

It will tap into the continent’s rich heritage and culture to enhance the continent’s togetherness.

President Nana Akufo-Addo acknowledged the fact that the restitution of cultural properties was not without tension and contestation.

Therefore, to ensure that the restitution processes do not invoke undue contestation, it is important that state and non-state institutions, activist groups and local community leaders work in partnership with international counterparts based on mutual trust and respect.

‘This will involve dialogue, negotiation and consensus-building at all levels,’ he advised.

He cited how some countries such as Senegal, Nigeria and Benin, had managed successfully to regain possession of some of the cultural properties that were illegally moved out of their territories.

Ghana, he said, regained some stolen cultural properties and relics, stating how in 2008, the Government collaborated with the elders of Ahanta to seek the return of the severed head of Nana Badu II, who was executed in 1838.

Other success stories include the return of some collections of the Ashanti Royal Family, and an Ashanti stool in 1985 by the British Government.

The cultural relics among the metal castings, human remains, carvings, manuscripts, photographs and sound recordings were moved from Africa either through the expeditions of the 1800s, stolen or acquired under questionable circumstances.

Reports indicate that over 90 per cent of these artworks lie outside Africa with numerous leaders calling for their repatriation as an honest gesture of addressing colonial injustices meted out to the continent.

The Quai Branly Museum in Paris, for instance, houses about 70,000 cultural objects from sub-Saharan Africa.

Approximately 85 per cent of all collections at the Africa Museum in Belgium are from the Congo, and the Humboldt Forum in Germany, has in its possession some 75,000 African traditional relics.

It is believed that from Africa, these treasures were either exchanged in Europe as gifts or sold at auction.

The Benin Bronzes, made of brass, have particularly shaped the restitution debate due to the heightened publicity they have received in Europe and Nigeria where they were taken from.

President Nana Akufo-Addo lauded the Open Society Foundations for the discourse and initiative.

This, he said, was important as it would contribute to efforts to ensure that African cultural properties were successfully returned to the continent and its rightful owners.

He asked the Society to support Ghana’s national focal team and other similar teams on restitution as well as committees set up for similar reasons on the African continent.

Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma, former President of Sierra Leone, said the stealing and keeping of African cultural artworks outside the continent was a great injustice to the people.

‘It is like slavery and all other forms of exploitation,’ he said.

Therefore, these artefacts and relics ought to be returned to their rightful owners, he stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

UK’s investment in Tamale International Airport will boost Ghana’s economic growth-Harriet Thompson

Ms Harriet Thompson, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, says the UK government’s investment in the northern Ghana, especially the Tamale International Airport, will boost Ghana’s economic growth and tourism across the Region.

She said the completion of the Tamale Airport Project showcased the positive outcome of the UK-Ghana partnership.

Ms Thompson said this at the opening of the Phase II of the Tamale International Airport Project in Tamale on Tuesday.

Ms Harriet Thompson joined the Country Director from the UK’s Department for Business and Trade, Giselle Agyare and the UK’s Northern Ghana Attaché, Paul Edwards as Ghana’s Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia opened the new Tamale International Airport.

The Tamale Airport project was supported by the UK Government through UK Export Finance (UKEF) in Ghana.

The airport is expected to increase connectivity across the country and the West African region as well as promote economic growth in the northern Ghana by supporting greater export of agricultural products produced in the region such as shea butter, cashew nuts and mangoes.

Interacting with the media after the ceremony, Mrs Thompson said the expansion of the Tamale international Airport would galvanise investment and growth across the northern part of Ghana.

‘Tamale and this whole area of the country are now connected to markets across the continent and the world.

‘We also recognise the strength of the UK-Ghana economic partnership.

‘This project was driven by the UK-Ghana Business Council, financed through UK Export Finance and built by British companies working alongside Ghanaian companies,’she said.

Led by UK Company QGMI UK, the project has already provided jobs for more than 500 people, seen 2000 trees planted across the site and seen the implementation of a Livelihood Restoration Plan by the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), to adequately compensate landowners and users and support them in restoring their primarily land-based livelihoods.

The UK Minister for Exports, Lord Offord said: ‘Strengthening local infrastructure is key to supporting Ghana’s economic recovery.

‘It’s fantastic to see the completed transformation of Tamale airport, backed by UK Export Finance and UK construction companies, which will create more travel options around the country, boost local jobs and generate further opportunities for businesses to invest.’

The new expansion will increase tourism to and from the North with a particular focus on the Hajj, benefitting Hajj pilgrims as the new Multipurpose Facility will serve as a terminal building during the Hajj Season.

The project was initiated by the UK-Ghana Business Council, since its formation in 2018.

The Council has supported more than £223m of investment in infrastructure across the country and created opportunities for both UK and Ghanaian businesses.

Next April, London will host the 2024 UK-African Investment Summit, bringing together political and business leaders, as well as representatives of international and regional organisations from the UK and African countries, including Ghana, as a further boost to trade and investment.

The UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside the Department for Business and Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Otumfuo commends management of Republic Bank Ghana for commitment toward socio-economic growth

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei – Tutu II has commended the Managing Director and Management of the Republic Bank for their commitment to fostering meaningful relationships with the community.

He also expressed his appreciation for the Bank’s initiatives being carried out within Kumasi and the country as a whole, ‘I am honoured to learn about all the exciting banking initiatives you are carrying out for my people in Kumasi and for our nation, Ghana.

A statement issued by the Republic Bank Ghana PLC said the Asantehene made the comment when the Managing Director of Republic Bank Ghana PLC called on the Otumfuo to show appreciation to him for honouring the bank’s invitation to Trinidad and Tobago during the Emancipation Day celebration.

The courtesy call also served as a platform for the discussion of further collaboration that would mutually benefit Republic Bank and the Manhyia Palace.

The Asantehene assured the Management of Republic Bank Ghana PLC of his support and urged them to always give off their best to grow the Bank.

‘Like I mentioned to your Board Members in Trinidad, I want a Bank that will inure to the development of our country, adding value to our economy and most importantly creating employment for the youth,’ the Asantehene added.

Mr Benjamin Dzoboku, the Managing Director of Republic Bank (Ghana) PLC, conveyed the gratitude of Mr. Vincent Pereira, RFHL’s Board Chairman and Mr. Nigel Baptiste, RFHL’s President / CEO and Managing Director, Republic Bank Limited, Trinidad and Tobago, to the Asantehene for gracing the Emancipation Luncheon and his advice to the Bank.

He reaffirmed Republic Bank’s commitment to supporting initiatives that contribute to the socio-economic growth of the community and the nation at large.

‘Your Majesty, Republic Bank will continue to enhance its products and service delivery to the people of Kumasi and churn out excellent customer experience whilst supporting the communities through its Power to Make a Difference Programme under its corporate social responsibility efforts,’ Mr. Dzoboku added.

Source: Ghana News Agency