Dr Iona Weir

Cell biologist. Founder, Chief Science Officer & CEO of Atopis

"I founded Atopis because while most skincare products are created for women, there's so little genuine skin care science created by women. It's time for a new perspective." - Dr Iona Weir

A lifetime of innovative cell biology.

Atopis is a skin science company founded not by a fashion model or social media influencer, but by a New Zealand cell biologist: Dr Iona Weir. Dr Weir has been a scientist for 34 years, and is in the small minority of women scientists successfully globally patenting her research.

Iona gained her PhD from the Cancer Research labs of the University of Auckland by being first to discover the fundamental cellular process of apoptosis (programmed cell death)  in plants could be reversed and later went on to apply this to human cancer and immune cells. This led her into fields such as botanical drug discovery, immune modulation and particularly gut health. She was Chief Scientific Officer developing an oral pharmaceutical drug for eczema and major gut innovations like IBSacol, Phloe and KiwiCrush working with multinationals such as Nestle. As she explored the connections between cell signalling, gut health and immunology she saw how these inner processes could have a remarkable effect on the outside too – on the skin.

Following her time at the Ontario Cancer Research Institute in Canada in 1999, Iona returned to New Zealand to pursue her ground breaking research into cellular renewal systems.

Iona struggled with skin issues herself for most of her life, So she decided to use her cell biology research to dig deeper into the fundamental systems behind healthy skin.

Not just scientific, but personal too.

But Iona’s interest in skincare wasn’t just scientific – it was personal. “I had skin problems for most of my adult life, and all the money I spent on so- called “beauty science’ not only didn’t work, it usually made things worse.” Iona also noticed that there was almost no skin science created by female scientists. “There’s nothing wrong with men creating skin care – they’ve got skin too! But women are different, right down to the cellular level. And I found there was a basic disconnect between what I needed, and what the beauty industry was trying to sell me. So as I’m a scientist, I thought I might as well figure out what was missing myself.”

So also armed with her experience with botanical chemistry, microbiology, probiotic encapsulation and how to manipulate plants to produce bioactives to reverse cellular apoptosis, Iona began the journey to create a radical new approach to skin health.

A breakthrough in skin health.

At the centre of this new approach is Dr Weir’s patented Myrecil®, a biologically fermented set of isomers especially designed to reset natural cell renewal and defence systems like apoptosis and antibody activation. It’s so powerful and safe that as well as topical usage with Atopis creams, Myrecil® can be used in Atopis Dietary Supplements to work along the gut-skin axis for true inside-out treatment. “My approach is to reset and reactivate your skin’s fundamental natural systems – systems that can go awry for many reasons, such as the mostly artificial environment we now live in. Once your skin has reset – a process over usually 30-60 days – you just need minimal maintenance, because obviously factors behind the issues, like genetics or environmental stressors, aren’t going anywhere.”

Learn about the Myrecil® Ingredient

Cellular apoptosis is one of the primary processes behind every multicellular organism, and is one of the fundamental biological pathways The Myrecil® Ingredient works through.

"This is just the beginning..."

Dr Weir’s innovative science, developed here in Aotearoa New Zealand using all-natural ingredients, is creating a stir internationally,
Atopis and The Myrecil® Ingredient now hold multiple global patents, with more pending. Further, eczema clinical trials in the USA and New Zealand have demonstrated Myrecil® reduces the symptoms of eczema but also as a side benefit appeared to plump the skin in a similar manner to retinol. Cellular assays have confirmed that Myrecil has retinol like activity, is more effective but without the side effects. This is a major breakthrough, as long term use of retinols can cause redness, thinning and prematurely aging skin, increased sun sensitivity as well as more serious issues.

Based on the successful results of the two eczema clinical trials and GMP certified manufacturing has also meant it’s been registered for OTC (Over The Counter) pharmaceutical use in the United States – an amazing achievement for a small New Zealand brand. And there’s more to come, says Dr Weir, with her Myrecil Ingredient showing promise in other medical areas. “Watch this space” she promises!.

Introducing The Myrecil® Ingredient

Explore the globally patented science behind Atopis.

Find out more