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Chatsworth Lab Taking New Products to Market

A year after receiving federal approval to make over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics, Basic Solutions stands ready to enter new markets and tap into new revenue streams in a multi-billion dollar industry. In its laboratory in Chatsworth, a growing number of Basic Solutions scientists research ointments, creams and personal care products to give the company an edge over its competition. “We’re fortunate to have an executive staff that understands and encourages that,” said Tim Crawford, technical director for drugs and cosmetics. “Looking for something out there we can put in a bottle and give us a unique position.” Vast Resources, Inc., a decades-old family-owned firm, launched Basic Resources in 2004 as a separate contract packaging and private label business and brought on cosmetics industry veteran Crawford to head its efforts. Vast Resources also owns Topco Sales, the well known adult novelty firm for whom Basic Solutions develops lubricants and cosmetics. Despite common ownership and the sharing of a building, Crawford does not consider Basic Solutions part of the adult products industry as its product line will be more general and sold in major drug store chains. (Vast Resources also owns a third business, MiracleBeam, a maker of laser, LED and electroluminescent products.) The certification from the Food and Drug Administration means the Basic Solutions manufacturing process meets strict requirements. Crawford was familiar with the lengthy and expensive process to obtain FDA certification to make over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics. In undertaking that process, a change in the corporate culture at Vast Resources took place that at times did not win Crawford any popularity contests with his co-workers. No department at the Chatsworth office building was left untouched by the changes implemented in the hygiene of the workers, the cleanliness of the facility, the record keeping, and the tracking of the products themselves. The procedures manual compiled for this endeavor measured about three inches in thickness. “We are talking about over-the-counter ointments and creams; things that people will apply to their body for specific results,” Crawford said. Basic Solutions takes the time and expense to make sure their products are safe from beginning to end, said Karine Aylozyan, president and senior microbiologist with Micro Quality Labs in North Hollywood, a facility specializing in microbiological and analytical testing for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Crawford himself, Aylozyan said, is excellent at developing formulas; knowing exactly what preservatives to use or not use. There are certain ingredients that react with others, so it is important and critical to know which ones to use, especially when working with natural ingredients that are more prone to bacteria, Aylozyan said. “It has to be well preserved or well combined where one preservative or product can be destroying the bacteria of the other,” Aylozyan said. Basic Solutions registers all its products with the FDA and undergoes inspections of its lab and manufacturing line. Some of the first products to come out of the Basic Solutions lab were baby care and diaper rash ointments. This year the company is working on a line of topical analgesics. Future products will include anti-dandruff shampoos, sunscreens, lip plumpers, anti-aging ointments, and natural or organic products. Because the Topco name was not unique, Basic Solutions was chosen as the new business name. In addition to making the actual creams and ointments, the company also has an in-house design and graphic arts department to come up with presentation ideas. On the crowded shelves at the local Longs and Walgreens, a distributor needs all the help they can get so their product will stand out by utilizing packaging that enhances the product. “There is a lot of work to get a tube of diaper rash cream on the market,” Crawford said. With additional clients clamoring for its products, Basic Solutions finds itself in a good position to enter national and international markets previously unexplored by the company and providing increased diversification for its parent, Vast Resources. The growth area in the industry is in anti-aging products because, Crawford said, everyone wants to look younger. In keeping up with the trends in the industry, Crawford remarked on reading an article reporting that women in their late teens already receive Botox treatments to prevent wrinkles. “It’s not just the Baby Boomers,” Crawford said. “The next generation is taking it farther.”

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