Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another one (, two) bite the dust! The body count rises in aesthetic medicine.

Artes Medical and Rhytec Inc. are the latest notable cosmetic medical companies to fold.

From the OC Register

Artes medical made a permanent dermal filler called Artefill which never gained much of a following. It was a gel based formulation of plastic "microspheres" made for injecting in deep layers of the skin. Most doctors have been reluctant to use these types of permanent fillers (like micro-droplet injectable silicone) as they are ruthlessly unforgiving for imprecise injections. If they're permanent and you have issues, then you have a permanent issue versus one that will regress as it's reabsorbed.

As hyaluronic acid fillers like Jevederm or Restylane are more user friendly and they go away after awhile, they are more of an attractive material. For a little longer lasting material for similar indications as Artefill, I think most people would use Radiess, which lasts closer to two years or so in duration. It's an extremely underated product IMO.

Rhytec's plasma based system was fairly novel and appeared at one time to have a lot of advantages. Compared to traditional laser resurfacing of the face with carbon dioxide or erbium lasers, it carried much less risk of pigmentation changes. I loved the candor of the Dermatologist quoted in the article who took some shots at other technologies that have been popular but have been panned off the record by many doctors.

Before Rhytec’s bankruptcy filing, Dr. Christopher Zachary, chairman of the UCI Department of Dermatologist, bemoaned the loss of a company with an innovative and effective therapy. He said, "Unlike companies that market laserlipo devices that are selling like hot cakes and are universally gimmicks and which have made companies like Syneron and Cynosure very healthy bottom lines, Rhytec, which makes a device that actually works, looks like it is in a major tailspin. Such is the cynical life of an aesthetic device manufacturing company."


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