In a recent interview with Luis Fausto, Head of Content at Metaintro, and Natalise, the CEO of Parallel Health, the two delved into the innovative world of precision skincare and the role of microbiology in shaping the future of personalized treatments. An interesting scenario where tech meets health!
Parallel Health, at its core, is a precision health company with a focus on skincare. The idea for the company was born when Natalise met her co-founder, Dr. Nathan Brown, a microbiologist. Together, they introduced the market's first-ever phage-based serum targeting bacteria correlated with acne. Phages are microbes that infect bacteria, acting like precise assassins that target harmful bacteria while leaving the beneficial ones unharmed.
However, while the serum worked wonders for some, it had little effect on others. This led the team to sequence the skin microbiome of users to understand the discrepancies. They discovered that while some had an overgrowth acne bacteria, others had skin issues caused by different bacteria or even fungi. This realization led to the genesis of Parallel Health, aiming to provide precision products tailored to individual microbial profiles.
Leading a startup is no easy feat. Natalise highlighted that while having a dedicated and ambitious team is crucial, startups often grapple with limited resources. The challenge lies in balancing team expansion with technological advancements, especially when competing against larger entities with more resources.
The Future of Personalized Skincare
Over the past decade, the buzzword in skincare has been "personalization." However, most personalization efforts have been surface-level, relying on quizzes about skin type and goals. Parallel Health aims to elevate this by delving deep into the skin's microbial ecosystem, offering truly personalized skincare regimens.
Natalise envisions a future where personalization in medicine and skincare is rooted in understanding each individual's unique profile, moving beyond the one-size-fits-all approach.
Advice for Aspiring Tech Enthusiasts
For those looking to break into the tech or skincare industry, Natalise emphasizes the importance of research. Reading articles, studying published papers, and even taking internships (even unpaid ones) can provide invaluable experience and insights.
Having raised about $2.3 million to date, Parallel Health is gearing up for expansion. While they aren't currently hiring, they anticipate job openings in marketing, business development, and the clinical side by Q1 of the next year. TBD!