Allergan to acquire CoolSculpting’s maker Zeltiq

Feb 17, 2017, 5:00am

Allergan has announced that it has agreed to acquire ZELTIQ Aesthetics for $2.475 billion, a deal expected to close in the second half of the year.

David MoatazediAllergan has announced that it has agreed to acquire ZELTIQ Aesthetics for $2.475 billion. The cash deal is expected to close in the second half of the year, according to an Allergan release.  

"With the pending acquisition of Zeltiq and its CoolSculpting System, Allergan will provide an expanded portfolio of products to meet our customers’ range of needs across facial aesthetics, plastic surgery, regenerative medicine, and now, body contouring,” David Moatazedi, senior vice president of medical aesthetics at Allergan tells Dermatology Times. “Allergan’s offerings to plastic surgeons, dermatologists and aesthetic practitioners will now extend to three of the largest and fastest-growing segments of their practices, putting Allergan in a unique position to provide expanded customer service, enhanced loyalty programs and help practitioners better meet the needs of their patients."

Zeltiq makes up a large portion of today’s body contouring pie. Millions of CoolSculpting treatments have been performed by more than 5,700 CoolSculpting systems in over 80 countries, according to the release.

Allergan’s acquisition of Zeltiq is a beneficial and expected move by the pharmaceutical giant, according to Chapel Hill, N.C., dermatologist Sue Ellen Cox, M.D.

“The CoolSculpting technology is effective, predictable and safe. Presently it is the most widely used technique for noninvasive fat reduction. It also has the most scientific evidence to back its efficacy,” Dr. Cox says. “Coolsculpting will broaden Allergan's menu for fat reduction options, and compliments their Kybella product. For example, I often debulk submental fat with the CoolMini, and then do final contouring with Kybella.”

CoolSculpting also offers contouring to many areas that would be impractical to do with Kybella, Dr. Cox says.

“The body contouring industry is a several billion dollar industry, Allergan wants to be on the forefront of this trend,” she says.

Plastic surgeon Jason Pozner, MD, who offers CoolSculpting at this Boca Raton, Fla., practice, says Zeltiq has excellent technology and a very effective salesforce.

“It will be good acquisition for Allergan but they need to keep the lean approach that Zeltiq has and not put too many layers in place [and keep the] lean corporate, hands-on approach,” says Dr. Pozner.

RealSelf CEO Tom Seery says Allergan’s acquisition of Zeltiq helps to confirm soaring demand for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures he noted recently in Cosmetic Surgery Times.

“… the acquisition is proof that the energy device market is red-hot with companies and consumers, alike. Allergan gets both a road-tested technology in CoolSculpting (it maintains an 83% RealSelf Worth It Rating) and a budding consumer brand that attracts new patients into practices and may, in fact, be expanding the overall aesthetics market,” Seery tells Dermatology Times.

On a year-on-year basis, consumer interest in CoolSculpting on RealSelf is up 28%, which Seery says is quite remarkable given the time the device has been on the market.

“The challenge for Allergan will be the same Zeltiq has faced: ensuring CoolSculpting marketing claims on fat reduction don't [overstate] what the technology can deliver. I'm quite sure that doctors and industry experts would agree that CoolSculpting has its place in body contouring, but it's not designed for massive weight loss or extreme results. Older technologies in fat reduction are now coat racks in offices due to this misalignment, and I am absolutely certain Allergan doesn't see want this outcome from this multi-billion dollar purchase,” Seery says.

The acquisition is not a done deal yet. It’s subject to ZELTIQ shareholders’ approval.

Disclosures: Dr. Cox did clinical trials for Liposonix (Valeant Pharmaceuticals), UltraShape (Syneron Candela) and Kybella (deoxycholic acid, Allergan). She is a consultant for Merz. Dr. Pozner was on Zeltiq’s advisory board, does research for Syneron and workshops for Cynosure and BTL.