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Allergan purchases Kythera for $2.1 billion

Botox-maker Allergan has agreed to acquire Kythera Biopharmaceuticals — and along with it Kybella (deoxycholic acid), recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating moderate-to-severe submental fat in adults.

The cash-and-stock transaction was valued at about $2.1 billion, according to reports.

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According to an Allergan news release, Brent Saunders, president and CEO of Dublin, Ireland-based Allergan says, “The acquisition of Kythera is a strategic investment that strengthens our leading global position in aesthetics and continues to position us for long-term growth. Kybella is an exciting new product that offers patients the first and only clinically proven, non-surgical treatment for submental fullness.”

“Kybella is also a pivotal entry point for expanding the use of facial aesthetic products in men, while Kythera’s setipiprant development program can drive additional long-term value,” he says.

In the same news release, Kythera President and CEO Keith Leonard says, “I am deeply appreciative of the commitment and dedication of our Kythera team that worked so tirelessly to bring Kybella from early development through approval and launch. We look forward to working with Allergan to ensure a successful U.S. launch of Kybella, as well as to secure additional approvals globally.”

According to a firstwordpharma.com report, the Kybella rollout started with a small group of dermatologists and plastic surgeons, with wider availability of the product coming in August.

Dermatology Times Editorial Advisory Board member Helen M. Torok, M.D., a Medina, Ohio, dermatologist, says Kybella appears to be the focus of the transaction.

“The acquisition of Kybella is a very fortuitous beginning,” she says. “Submental fullness is the first step in contouring and liposculpting for Kybella. It will expand its indications to other body parts such as abdomen, flanks and thighs. However, this is not an easy procedure — it requires knowledge and good technique. So it will take time and lots of practice to become mainstream in the cosmetic field.”

The acquisition, which awaits approval by Kythera shareholders, is expected to be finalized during the third quarter. 

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