The third annual IMCAS Americas, held in Cartagena, Colombia in August, attracted a motivated crowd of more than 900 delegates from 30 countries who came to learn and network with colleagues and key opinion leaders.

“The congress faculty featured 110 international experts leading 85 scientific sessions for a total of 88 hours of scientific learning dedicated to the most important topics in plastic surgery, dermatology, and aesthetic medicine. Each day offered demonstrations that provided dynamic visual instruction for aesthetic procedures from head-to-toe,” says plastic surgereon Benjamin Ascher, MD, IMCAS founder and scientific director. “Among the notable additions this year, a series of Video Live sessions was designed specifically toward plastic surgeons, combining step-by-step surgery performance alongside cadaver dissections so that attendees gain surgical training and anatomical review in one comprehensive course,” he adds.

The port city of Cartagena has become a desirable destination for visitors and tourists from the US, Europe, and beyond. The city with its walled Old Town by the sea was founded in the 16th century, with charming squares, cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, beaches, and a tropical climate.

According to Colombian dermatologist Dr. Manuel Darío Franco, Course Coordinator, “IMCAS Americas is one of largest congresses in Latin America and covers all specialties practicing aesthetic medicine and surgery. Our prestigious faculty of dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aesthetic doctors elevated the scientific level of the meeting to meet and exceed the expectations of the delegates.”

Among the most popular topics presented were new indications for injectables, emerging energy-based devices, non-surgical body contouring, fat grafting, plastic surgery, and medical and cosmetic dermatology. “This year the program included something new: a dedicated session for young physicians who are just beginning their practice with the top doctors in the area presenting their best tips,” says Dr. Franco.

Course Coordinator, plastic surgeon Steven Cohen, MD from La Jolla, CA was equally pleased with the educational as well as social activities. “What I liked best about IMCAS Americas in Cartagena is learning and sharing ideas and cultural nuances in the treatment of beauty and aging with so many outstanding physicians outside of my specialty,” he says.

“Cartagena was a wonderful place to visit with family as well as to attend this meeting. The people there were so kind and welcoming. I enjoyed learning about and sharing information in the non-invasive medspa arena, and also from colleagues around the world about new (and old) technology,” says plastic surgeon Jennifer Walden, MD from Austin, TX. Dallas dermatologist Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, MD adds, “IMCAS Americas combined outstanding faculty and tracks for learning. In one advanced session you have the benefit of having several experts from around the globe sharing evidence-based techniques and valuable practice pearls. This sharing among colleagues allows for optimal patient care in our practices while gaining a global perspective.”

Scientific Committee member and dermatologist Dr. Sahar Foad Ghannam traveled from Kuwait to present. “IMCAS meetings are always a treat to attend and participate in. In Cartagena physicians from all over South America participated together with their international peers to share their expertise and knowledge. The historic city of Cartagena, with its unique atmosphere and ambiance, was a welcome addition to this highly educational conference,” she says.

The practice management and business sessions included a range of presentations on digital marketing, social media strategy, physician dispensed skincare, artificial intelligence, as well as in-depth talks on recognizing the signs of body dysmorphic disorder and how to manage these difficult patients.

Jean-Yves Coste, Senior Healthcare Director of Michel Dyens & Co. in Paris spoke on trends in medical aesthetics, including telediagnoses, digital imaging, 3D bioprinting in reconstructive surgery, and what he referred to as IOMT (Internet of Medical Things). “AI is defined as ‘any intellect that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest’ by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom. The explosion of data-storage capabilities coupled with algorithmic programming have fueled the rapid emergence of AI,” he says.

“We are committed to further growing IMCAS Americas to be the best educational event in aesthetic medicine and surgery to be found in the Latin American region,” says Dr. Franco. “We look forward to welcoming even more delegates next year!”

IMCAS Americas will return in 2020 with a new educational program. For information: imcas.com.


Take 5 with Dyve Biosciences

Modern Aesthetics® magazine first reported on Dyve Biosciences after the 2018 American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery meeting, and a lot has changed for the company since then. In a nutshell, Dyve’s novel transdermal delivery technology delivers existing drugs through the skin, improving safety, efficacy, and ease of use. The technology has opened the doors for multiple applications across disciplines. Dyve Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Beal, MD, chatted with us about where the company, and its technology, are headed.

A New mission.

“At first we were very focused on aesthetics and getting actives deeper into the skin, but we have changed directions and are now using our technology for medical and therapeutic purposes including melasma and gout. These are two conditions where we have known active ingredients, but transdermal delivery has historically been a challenge.”

Moving forward in melasma.

“With melasma, trichloracetic acid (TCA) only shows modest efficacy because it can’t reach deep enough to squelch active melanocytes. Targeted delivery provides consistent results faster and fewer side effects, and our candidate DYV-600 delivers TCA deep into the skin to dramatically reduce skin pigmentation for those with melasma. We have completed a Phase 1 study involving 60 participants, and we are very happy with the depth and penetration of DYV-600 as well as the overall results. The plan is to run one or two more trials and then approach the US Food and Drug Administration in 2020.”

Taking on psoriasis and eczema.

“We have recently conducted promising animal studies looking at topical administration of cyclosporine with our technology in psoriasis and eczema. Due to side effects seen with oral administration of cyclosporine, researchers have been looking for a topical route for a long time, but haven’t been able to get the drug through the skin. In our tests, we are seeing 20+ fold improvement in terms of bioavailability compared to what has been seen with other topicals and 20+ percent improvement over oral treatments. We can deliver the drug topically, and the absorption rate was better than what is seen orally. The goal is to limit systemic uptake, so this tells us that we can use much lower doses for a meaningful local concentration. We are now lining up investigators for a study in humans.”

our Growing board.

“We have added a couple people to our board including Philippe Schaison, PharmD, former President of US Medical at Allergan, and Aya Jakobovits, PhD, founding CEO of Kite Pharma, Inc. They join myself and our executive chairman Rajit Malhotra, MBA, MPA.”

A Bright future.

“We were under radar intentionally at first, but now our researchers are getting out on podiums. We are closing our Series A round and have moved into a mezzanine round of funding. As a company, we are excited about accelerating our growth with resources behind our core clinical programs and product candidates.”


Take 5 with BTL

A privately held company that was founded in Prague 26 years ago, BTL has grown to 53 offices around the globe, 1,900 employees, 300+ engineers, five R&D centers, and two focused divisions. “Despite the growth,” says John Ferris, Vice President of US Marketing, BTL, “BTL is run as a family owned company with no desire to ever go public.” Mr. Ferris spoke with Modern Aesthetics® magazine about the company and its innovative products.

Physician partnership is key.

“When the US office was established, BTL’s mantra was ‘growing to meet your needs’ and ‘a company you can trust,’” Mr. Ferris says. “My colleagues and I try to uphold these values and always ask our physician partners what we can do better.”

Body contouring is part of the natural evolution of the market.

The energy-based device market emerged in the 1990s with a focus on the skin. When BTL entered the US market in the 2000s, the body contouring market was in its infancy. “BTL was then and continues to be today a market leader in RF technology,” Mr. Ferris asserts. “It was natural to focus on skin and evolve our therapies to be more complete body sculpting solutions. In addition, our company’s vision, not clouded by investors and Wall Street expectations, allowed us to develop HIFEM for the treatment of muscles. Now that physicians have tools to treat skin, fat, muscle, and texture, the opportunity lies with combination therapy and the physician’s artistic eye.”

There’s new technology coming.

“Believe it or not, BTL has delivered five new innovations over the past five years, with the most recent being Emtone,” Mr. Ferris notes. With an investment in more than 300 engineers and HIFEM reaching 30 perent of its potential, “you can expect BTL to continue to develop this technology,” he adds.

Communication is a focus.

“Whereas some company’s take a one size fits all communication approach, I prefer to speak to each audience. If we take this a step further, look at some of the meetings that exist today—Generational Aesthetics, Skin of Color, etc. These meetings cater to differences,” Mr. Ferris says. “We are just providing different communication vehicles to reach all audiences.”

“BTL is in the business of innovating and not imitating,” Mr. Ferris says. The company has focused on educating both physicians and consumers. “First, our Practice Development Consultants are separated from our Marketing Account Consultants, as it’s imperative our physicians have both clinical and financial success. Next, physicians are provided tools for them to succeed and not just our brand.”

Listing key marketing successes, including the announcement of Drew Barrymore as Emsculpt Brand Ambassador, 12.4 billion Emsculpt media impressions to date, and multiple Customer Success Tours, Mr. Ferris adds, “I can only hope physicians can see we are committed to education.”

The company is addressing competition and commoditization.

“When Emsculpt was launched, BTL’s focus was core physicians. BTL instituted and enforces to this day MAP (minimum advertised price) pricing,” Mr. Ferris says. “We have delivered on our promise to expand capabilities of Emsculpt. Believe it or not, we actually raised the price of Emsculpt this year.”

Mr. Ferris highlights a 20-year company history with magnets and 10-year history with HIFEM. “We invested in 13 peer-reviewed studies utilizing different methodologies. Our Emsculpt patent portfolio, which we will vehemently defend, is five and growing. BTL has demonstrated to the world its commitment to further this technology with the release of the Small Contoured Applicators and Emtone. What has the rest of the industry done? They initially laughed. Now they are trying to play catch up.” He asserts. “I believe in our team from top down, the institutional knowledge we possess, and the physicians committed to growing our brands.”


FDA Approves Juvéderm Voluma XC For Mid-Face Injection Via Cannula

Allergan’s Juvéderm Voluma XC is now FDA-approved for cheek augmentation in the mid-face in adults over 21 with a TSK Steriglide cannula.

This cannula features a patented tip design with a near-tip delivery port for precise product placement. Within the Juvéderm Collection of Fillers, this is the first approval for the use of cannula.

A 12-week, multicenter, split-face, investigator-blinded, non-inferiority study assessed the safety and effectiveness of Juvéderm Voluma XC for correction of age-related volume deficit in the mid-face with the use of the new cannula versus a needle. All 60 subjects completed the study. Results demonstrated comparable performance, safety profile, and patient satisfaction between cannula and needle injection.

Viola Davis Is New L’Oréal Paris Spokesperson

Actress and advocate Viola Davis is the newest international spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris.

Ms. Davis will appear in TV, print and digital advertising campaigns for the Age Perfect line.

The new appointment for Ms. Davis builds on the brand’s mission to reflect the diversity of the modern world through spokeswomen, encouraging beauty inclusivity, self-worth and empowering people everywhere.


Take 5 with Obagi

A well-known skincare company with a 30-year history of innovation, Obagi continuously looks forward. The company made headlines this spring when it launched the SKINCLUSION initiative. Jaime Castle, President of Obagi, was honored this fall with the International Cultural Diversity Organization (ICDO) Excellence Award for her contributions in promoting cultural diversity. Ahead, she talks about the company, its mission, and its future.

Obagi is about people and products.

When asked what attracted her to Obagi, Ms. Castle says simple, “People and products.” Having previously worked with the campany, she says, “the culture and enthusiasm of the team inspired me. When I had the opportunity to join Obagi, I was excited to become part of a group of talent so driven and passionate. I also knew the Obagi products were backed by rigorous clinical development standards and studies. It was an easy decision for me because Obagi is a destination organization.”

The brand is focused forward.

“Every great brand must keep pushing forward to ensure continued success,” Ms. Castle asserts. “When I took the helm at Obagi, I worked with our executive team, our employees, our customers and our patients to clearly define our mission: We exist to create the future of skincare, so every face is cared for, everywhere. With a clearly defined mission, our employees become very purpose-driven and highly focused. This focus empowers us to balance building for the future while delivering for today.”

Education remains essential.

Ms. Castle says that as a leader in the space, Obagi has a, “responsibility to help drive awareness and education about medical-grade skincare.” As buying convenience increasingly becomes a primary motivator or detractor for skincare purchases, “we must help educate on the value of professional skincare consultations and the impact of a regimen designed by a credentialed, medical professional. We are constantly seeking solutions that will serve our customers long-term in such a dynamic marketplace,” she adds.

There are three strategic goals.

“We have three strategic goals that we use as guideposts for initiatives we invest our time and energy into,” Ms. Castle says. First, is to, “Evolve our business model to enable us to serve every patient, everywhere. This means adapting a multi-channel distribution approach. Consumer segments are much more fluid than they used to be, but we are still able to serve unique audiences by meeting them where they are today to ultimately, attract new consumers to physicians’ offices tomorrow. While we do this it’s imperative, we keep physicians top of mind because we know patients can get the best care and treatment plan only from a medical professional.”

Obagi also seeks to grow business internationally. “Part of caring for every face, everywhere means investing in expansion outside the North America and Europe. We’re launching into China and India this year,” she notes.

Finally, the company seeks to develop a robust product pipeline “that delivers on our promise to consumers for transformational results at every stage of the skin health journey.”

The SKINCLUSION initiative is striving for inclusion.

Obagi has been committed to inclusion, “since 1988 when we were the first medical-grade skincare brand to do clinical studies in all six Fitzpatrick skin types,” Ms. Castle says. “At its core, the SKINCLUSION initiative aims to raise everyone’s understanding of their unconscious biases so that we can be more inclusive of one another.”

“As a mother of three children leading an organization of 82 percent women, many of whom are also mothers, we experience first-hand the impact unrealistic stereotypes can have on our children. That’s why it’s important for companies to recognize their part and act accordingly. We’re an organization that’s not afraid to break molds and be the ‘first,’ so it felt very natural for us to take a stand since this particular issue has been embedded in our business from day one.”

Visit SKINCLUSION.com to view resources from ICDO and Project Implicit, and take the Skin Tone Implicit Association Test. For every social action taken using #SKINCLUSION, Obagi will donate $1 to support the ICDO and Project Implicit, with a total donation of $150,000.