Pfizer and Allergan announced in November that the pharmaceutical companies are merging. The result when the merger completes in mid 2016 will be the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, in what will be the second largest merger of all time, according to Dealogic.
There are few cosmetic and plastic surgeons in the U.S. who aren’t Allergan customers, given the facial aesthetic and plastics-focused Allergan’s blockbuster brands, including Botox, Juvéderm, Kybella (deoxycholic acid) and the Natrelle line of breast implants.
Brent Saunders, Allergan’s chief executive officer, will be president and chief operating officer of the combined company, called Pfizer plc. Saunders told Cosmetic Surgery Times that the merger with Pfizer will mean more research and development funding and capabilities, to the tune of about $9 billion. That’s the size of the R&D budget for the combined company, which makes it one of the largest research budgets in the world. And part of that will go toward aesthetic brand innovation, according to Saunders.
Allergan, he said, will continue, among other things, to research and develop different neuromodulator applications, improvements for its Juvéderm line of fillers and look to expand the aesthetic and therapeutic indications for Kybella.
“One of the things that I think is important is for us to continue the innovation in breast [implants]. There are not many players left in this space, and very few that are really committed to innovating,” Saunders said. “One of the things that I did when I took over Allergan was restart R&D in breast implants, continuing to look at both textures and molecular weight. I think we have some good programs that are getting underway, but I think we need to invest more. I hope that the combination allows us to continue more in innovation in not just breasts but other areas of need for the plastic surgeon.”
The merger, combining Pfizer’s strength in research and innovation and Allergan’s product development and commercial capabilities, could make the combined pharma company a world leader in the plastic surgery space. Allergan’s focus will remain in facial aesthetics and plastics, according to Saunders.