A TECHNOLOGY firm aims to turn back time in pioneering plans to work on anti-ageing treatment.

TeeGene Biotech says it is researching ways of developing a product for the cosmetic industry.

The company, a Teesside University spin out, is looking at environmentally-friendly bio-surfactants.

Surfactants are components typically used in skincare products and creams, as well as paints and food, such as mayonnaise and margarine.

Bosses say bio-surfactants lower surface tension between liquids, allowing products to be smoother and capable of being spread more easily.

Dr Pattanathu Rahman, TeeGene’s founding director, said the venture, which has now moved into the Wilton Centre, near Redcar, hopes to take advantage of a potentially lucrative £1.4bn market.

He said: “The EU has established a market for biosurfactants, with an estimated demand of 679 million Euros (£542m) last year, corresponding to half of the global demand.

“The predicted value for biosurfactant market is 1.8 billion Euros (£1.4bn) by 2030, which is a 300 per cent increase.”

Dr Rahman, a senior lecturer in process engineering and biotechnology at Teesside University, said the firm can offer products tailored to specific industrial applications.

He added: “We are a research-led company, looking to widen the variety of known biosurfactants and bring these to market.

“We want to develop the application area for which they are used and branch into other industries.”

TeeGene previously took part in the Wilton-Centre backed icreate entrepreneurs programme.

That scheme aimed to help companies ready themselves for investment.

Dr Mike Anderson, icreate programme manager, said TeeGene was proof of its value to North-East business.

He added: “We are delighted TeeGene has decided to join our business community at the Wilton Centre as a direct result of our icreate entrepreneur programme.

“It has some very exciting products and technology and hopefully we can provide the environment and the support network that will enable them to quickly exploit the opportunities available.”