Allergan Aesthetics—the makers of Botox Cosmetic and Juvéderm—announced today that it has acquired Luminera, a private, Israel-based aesthetics company that manufactures dermal fillers. This is exciting news for both professionals like dermatologists and plastic surgeons, and also consumers like us because the U.S. falls short in its number of FDA-approved fillers compared to the rest of the world—this merger could open the door for new products.
“The addition of the Luminera assets adds innovative technology, complementing our leading Juvéderm filler franchise,” says Carrie Strom, senior vice president of AbbVie and president of Global Allergan Aesthetics. Luminera’s most exciting prospect for Allergan is a filler called HArmonyCa, which comprises a unique combination of cross-linked hyaluronic acid (HA) with embedded calcium hydroxyapatite (CaHA) microspheres and is currently only available in Israel and Brazil. Allergan plans to continue developing this filler for use in the U.S. market, among others internationally.
Dover, OH facial plastic surgeon David Hartman, MD is a big fan of HA fillers, but is skeptical of other ingredients. “From the very earliest days of fillers, some 20 years ago, cosmetic facial fillers have evolved from collagen-based products, through hydroxyapatite products, and finally to hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. HAs now dominate the cosmetic filler market primarily, I believe, because there seem to be fewer long-term problems with HA fillers compared to non-HAs. For better or worse, HA fillers are completely broken down and removed by our bodies six to 24 months after injected. Some non-HAs may remain in the soft-tissues of the face indefinitely. However, HArmonyCa may very well have some unique applications that will yield excellent results.”
Other fillers under the Luminera umbrella include Crystalys, Hydryalix and Hydryal. Fillers typically take years to undergo clinical testing and gain FDA-approval in the U.S., so stay tuned for more on this one.