Start-Up Previews (03/07)
A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group: Do-It-Yourself Dermatology, features profiles of Therative and Xthetix. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: iCardiac Technologies, Jenken Biosciences, Neovasc Medical, and Syntaxin.
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As venture capitalists begin counting cosmetics and aesthetics companies as part of their portfolios, they're also migrating toward investing in consumer-oriented companies including those that make aesthetic devices to be used in the home.
Xthetix is developing a handheld, high-frequency ultrasound device for the up-and-coming consumer aesthetic device market, leading with a product for treating and preventing acne. By heating skin tissue at a desired target depth without heating the skin's surface, its device can quickly treat existing pimples. Since it can also deposit heat directly into the sebaceous glands and hair follicles, it can inhibit the formation of sebum and thus prevent mild to moderate acne from erupting.
With one look at the technology and some research into the acne market, Therative came to a quick contrarian conclusion: to sell its acne treatment device directly to the 45 million Americans who need it, not to the thousands of dermatologists who treat only 20% of those millions. And so Therative entered the home-use aesthetic market.