Always moving forward, aesthetics is a hot bed of innovation.
This is motivated by an endless list of pioneering startups, competing in a market soon to be worth $19bn.
Covering different sub-sections of this market, I’ve decided to spotlight five companies standing out for innovation:
Israeli based SofWave are ready to commercialise their new, non-invasive technology which helps improve facial lines and wrinkles.
Their proprietary high frequency, high intensity, Intense Ultrasound Beamtechnology enables treatment at the optimal depth of 1.5mm in the mid-dermis, while ensuring no damage to the epidermis or underlying structures. Offering an alternative to RadioFrequnecy, this is a smart, simple, effective and safe treatment.
SofWave have recently raised $8.4m in a round of funding, which will support their technology’s commercialization.
While this backing is crucial, it’s nothing without strong leadership. SofWave have this in abundance. Founded by serial entrepreneur Dr Shimon Eckhouse, they’re supported by nearly 30 years of medical aesthetic experience and venture capitalist company, Alon.
CEO Luis Scarfari is also a key figure. He’s led multiple global public and private medtech companies - among them Syneron Candela where he held the CEO position and led the merger of the two companies.
Combining this market experience with an innovative new technology, SofWave are well placed for growth.
Dr Eckhouse is also making noise with Cherry Imaging, who he founded in 2014 and are owned by Alon. This US start-up debuted their technology at ASLD 2019 and are exciting many people in my network.
Combining a powerful 3D scanner with trace software, their lightweight scanner produces a 3D image that helps physicians plan their procedures and see their post-treatment results. This technology will help bring more accurate, objective and traceable treatments on both the face and body. It’s able to measure changes in skin; from scars, fillers and botox, to skin rejuvenation.
The lightweight, handheld camera is easy to use and portable. It captures thousands of 3D images from multiple field views and multiple angles all in a one-click scan. It doesn’t require lighting adjustments or angling.
This disruptive technology won the IMCAS Innovation award for 2019 and is now in the early stages of commercialisation, mainly making inroads in the US and Japan. With Dr. Eckhouse at the helm, we’re likely to see big things from Cherry Imaging.
Visualisation and imaging has taken off in the last 12 months.
Next Motion join Cherry Imaging in this market, providing highly accurate before-and-after imaging for practices and their patients.
Developed by French surgeon, Emmanuel Elard, this app can be downloaded onto any mobile device. With this, physicians can easily present and explain procedures under any angles with constant head positioning, lights, shadows and colours.
While this is great for physicians and gives patients peace of mind, this is also an effective commercial tool. This is a great way to provide results in an engaging way, with transparency. This content can also be pushed through the app to practice websites and social media channels.
With the new adaptation of the device including 3D and simulation features, this is becoming increasingly popular. Backed by €1m funding from 2019, Next Motion will be strong competition for Crisalix - their only challenger in this market.
Moving away from imaging and into biopharmaceuticals, Soltego are improving safety in tanning treatments. They’ve developed disruptive and patented technology which can cause tanning without exposing patients to harmful UV rays.
When applied, their Salt Inducable Kinase inhibitor triggers the melanin production pathway and causes a natural tan and darkening of the skin.
In preliminary studies, Soltego’s technology has been shown to be safe and effective. Soltégo is currently developing two parallel products including a cosmetic for sun protection and natural tanning, as well as a RX product for patient with pigmentation disorders and high sensitivity to UV light.
With experts in dermatology and oncology developing Soltego’s technology, the combination of safety and effectiveness will continue to be a crucial selling-point as they grow.
Sharing similar ambitions for safety, Recros Medical are awaiting FDA approval before commercialising their fractional skin resection technology.
In the past, skin resection has required surgery. However, Recros Medica have now found a minimally invasive and safe way to reduce excessive skin laxity.
Their rotational fractional resection uses unique and proprietary devices for fractional skin resection – tightening the skin by penetrating it with tiny incisions. This improves focal aesthetic contouring by removing excess skin.
Clinical trials have been positive, with 84% of participants satisfied seven days after a single RFR procedure. At the 90-day timepoint, 94% of patients indicated they were likely to recommend this procedure to friends and family.
Still waiting for regulatory approvals, this may be a slow burner. However, the technology’s potential is clear and a $14m series A funding round will provide vital support as development continues.
With innovations sprouting from all-over a growing market, there’s reason to get excited about aesthetics. Constant improvements to safety and effectiveness mean that no company can afford to stand still right now. While these five companies are shining brightest now, there’s no doubt new names and technologies will continue to emerge – with the spotlight constantly shifting.
I spoke to Dr. Peter Prendergast, founder of the app MeTime, about the post-pandemic aesthetics market and the truth behind "the zoom effect". Listen now.
For this episode of CM Conversations, Ben Thompson & Jerome Richards, Directors at CM Medical, spoke with Rob Jenkins and Will Flack from F&J Agile Solutions.