You’ve likely heard the buzz about ALPHAEON, and now it’s time to get to know the lifestyle healthcare marketing company that has been turning heads and grabbing headlines since its inception Undoubtedly, the most memorable launch of this year’s American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) meeting was the introduction of ALPHAEON. With a megawatt exhibit that dominated the floor, and a plethora of execs and ladies in chic red cocktail dresses at the launch party at San Diego’s luxe W Hotel, ALPHAEON stood out as the cool kid on the block.
A self-described “lifestyle healthcare company,” ALPHAEON is based in Newport Beach, the heart of California’s Orange County, which consistently ranks among areas with the highest housing prices in the country. ALPHAEON was founded in 2013 by private equity investor Strathspey Crown Holdings LLC, where former president of Allergan Medical Robert E. Grant serves as CEO. The ALPHAEON logo is a bold red rose, the symbol of vitality and strength, and, as Grant says, it serves to feminize an über-macho corporate name.
ALPHAEON’s recent moves include the acquisition of an exclusive US license from Visiometrics SL to market the HD Analyzer™ for early cataract detection; the exclusive US license to market the Swiss Teoxane Laboratories’ portfolio of dermal fillers and cosmeceuticals, including the TEOSYAL line; the acquisition of Evolus Inc; the exclusive license to market EVOSYAL, a Botulinum toxin Type A neurotoxin from Korean Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co Ltd in the US and several international markets; and the exclusive worldwide licensing rights to the TouchMD™ interactive software platform. According to Grant, it is also in negotiations with a slew of other players in aesthetics, ophthalmology, cosmetic dentistry, orthopedics, and other sectors as ALPHAEON works to expand its reach.
If you’re not a board-certified physician from a core specialty, you won’t be able to join the ALPHAEON club. It has made a definitive commitment to leading specialty physicians. In light of Obamacare and The Sunshine Act, ALPHAEON may just be speaking doctors’ language.
PSP: The $64,000 question among intrigued physicians and curious industry veterans is, “What is the ALPHAEON business model?”
Grant: We see a tremendous opportunity to build demand for lifestyle healthcare among today’s consumers. Our business model is to partner with board-certified physician specialists and help them be more successful with the private-pay segment of their practices. We offer services and systems to help them run their practices more efficiently and profitably. We also are building a portfolio of products—determined by our founding physician investors—that ALPHAEON physician practices can purchase. Our focus so far has been on products that are considered breakthrough and will serve to expand demand in their category.
PSP: There is a lot of speculation about how the technologies,products, and companies ALPHAEON has partnered with all fit together. Can you explain your vision for the company?
Grant: Our vision is to mainstream the notion that consumers can live better as they live longer. By connecting them with board-certified specialists in the ALPHAEON network, consumers will know they are accessing the best products and technologies from the most qualified board-certified specialists.
PSP: How and when do you expect to roll out your product portfolio?
Grant: We will begin rolling out our first products in January 2014.
PSP: What are your thoughts on where the global market for aesthetic medicine is going in the next 3 to 5 years?
Grant: Lifestyle Healthcare is the fastest-growing segment in healthcare, with the top six self-pay markets generating $20 billion in the US alone. Both here and around the world, consumer sophistication is increasing and fueling growth for procedures and products that are proactive in nature, helping people look better and feel better. The demographic and psychographic trends align well with the ALPHAEON message and will help us succeed in key markets across the globe.
PSP: So far you appear to have concentrated on facial aesthetics and ophthalmology. What other market segments are you actively pursuing partnerships in?
Grant: Beyond aesthetics and ophthalmology, we see great opportunity in wellness, cosmetic dentistry, and sports medicine.
PSP: Although you state up front that ALPHAEON is not in the business of buying practices, for physicians who want to get in on the ground floor, what are the key benefits they should consider?
Grant: We have no interest in owning physician practices, only in helping physician owners run their own practices with better systems and business processes. At ASPS, we officially began inviting members to join the ALPHAEON network, which begins with their participation in ShoutMD, a private network for board-certified specialists who offer self-pay in their practices. They can freely interact and share ideas with one another, and we will solicit their input as we build the company. Their participation here and as a customer of ALPHAEON will tie directly to where they rank on the “Find a Specialist” section of our website.
PSP: I understand that you have an official affiliation with ASPS. Can you explain what that entails and how you plan to collaborate with other organizations in the US and abroad?
Grant: Yes, ASPS understood the significance of how our consumer branding and management services could benefit their members and help board-certified plastic surgeons better differentiate their value as specialists. We believe these same member benefits apply to the other specialty medical societies and can unite them under a single brand. Branding together as specialists is far more powerful than trying to brand as individuals or as single societies.
PSP: What are your short- and long-term goals for ALPHAEON?
Grant: We will first engage specialists in plastic surgery, dermatology, and ophthalmology and offer them services to help them attract, educate, finance, and retain patients more efficiently and effectively. As we build out the product portfolio, we will make these products available to our ALPHAEON physician network and use consumer awareness to drive patients to these physicians. Longer term, we want to transform the lifestyle healthcare market and continue to build a services and product portfolio across the spectrum of wellness, beauty, and performance that can be delivered by specialists in the self-pay sectors we have identified.
Find out more at Alphaeon.com.
Wendy Lewis is president of Wendy Lewis and Co Ltd, Global Aesthetics Consultancy, www.wendylewisco.com, author of 11 books, founder/editor in chief of www.beautyinthebag.com, and contributing editor of PSP.