Artes Medical Inc., a medical technology company, will be going public sometime next week. The stock will be offered at $12-$14. Their main product is the recently approved ArteFill, a permanent dermal filler intended primarily for naso-labial wrinkles. The following is from the company’s website:
ArteFill is a unique combination of homogeneous precision-filtered microspheres suspended in a solution of purified collagen gel and 0.3% lidocaine to alleviate discomfort during injection. ArteFill is manufactured in our dedicated 35,000 sq ft current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) compliant manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters in San Diego.
In October 2006, ArteFill received final approval from the FDA, making it the first and only non-resorbable aesthetic injectable implant to gain FDA approval.
ArteFill is designed with dual action to correct facial wrinkles, known as nasolabial folds. ArteFill does this as a result of its composition, which is a combination of precision-filtered microspheres (20% of total volume) made from polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and purified bovine collagen (80% of total volume). All microspheres have a defined size of 30 to 50 microns in diameter and have a smooth, round surface. Aesthetic results are visible immediately after injection. PMMA is not taken up by scavenger cells (macrophages) and cannot be degraded by enzymes. Thus, the microspheres will remain intact beneath the creases, providing a permanent support structure to support the wrinkle and to prevent further wrinkling. As with all products using bovine collagen, a skin sensitivity test must be performed prior to use.
Pro: There currently aren’t any “permanent” fillers approved by the FDA on the market. Use of the product should reduce total costs because only one visit is required.
Con: Bovine-collagen is a dated filler technology, and two potentially pricey allergy tests are required before the filler can be used.
Opinion: The product is promising, but the market is filled with harsh competition. The company also has been plagued by a recent scandal, in which the founder and CEO had to step down over rumors of unapproved testing of the product. Invest at your own risk.