Sanofi has agreed to sell its Dermik skincare business to Valeant Pharmaceuticals in a $425 million deal that gives the Canadian drugmaker brands such as the acne treatment BenzaClin and wrinkle-filler Sculptra.
The cash deal brings to fruition Sanofi’s previously announced intent to divest the dermatology business with operations concentrated mostly in North America. "The size of this significant new investment in the aesthetic industry indicates the massive resurgence of the medical and plastic surgery rejuvenation business as a whole," says Babak Azizzadeh, MD, a Beverly Hills-based facial plastic surgeon.
Despite the "focus-on-our-core" language in that announcement, the Dermik sale isn’t a divestment á la Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has pared away its non-pharma units to focus solely on innovative meds, or even a Pfizer-esque spinoff designed to feed investors’ desires while shedding a big chunk of peripheral business.
For Valeant, the Dermik business is yet another to add to its quiver. Dermik has a manufacturing plant in Quebec, handy for the Canadian-based Valeant, and its dermatology drugs will help beef up the company’s franchise in that area. While the other products are focused in North America, the aesthetic side of the business — aka, Sculptra — has a global presence, giving Valeant a geographic footprint to build upon.
According Azizzadeh, Sculptra Aesthetic is a volumizer made of poly-l-lactic acid that stimulates the body to produce new collagen, replacing the natural volume (fat) loss that occurs with age. Sculptra Aesthetic works gradually, resulting in a more youthful appearance without making it look like a patient has had any work done. Sculptra offers a variety of solutions to a patient seeking to reverse the signs of an aging face.