Bidding starts for Nestle Skin Health

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According to a Reuters report, private equity companies Cinven and Advent have teamed up to table a joint bid for Nestle Skin Health, which sources believe values the company at CHF7bn (US$7bn). It is reported that other private equity companies, including Blackstone, KKR and Carlyle, are likewise poised to make bids, while sources also say that Merz Pharma is interested and looking for private equity partners. 

In terms of the timeline, Nestle’s Board of Directors decided to explore strategic options for the skin health business in September 2018, after concluding that future growth opportunities lay increasingly outside the group’s strategic scope. Information memos on the sale, being run by Credit Suisse and Evercore, are expected to be sent by the end of this month and first-round bids are likely to be submitted in early March.

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Nestle Skin Health divides its portfolio into two units – its range of largely Rx “medical solutions” marketed under the Galderma umbrella and its “consumer solutions”.  Differin Gel is one example of a Galderma Rx skin care medicine which has been switched to OTC status, gaining FDA approval in 2016 and launched in the US in early 2017. Despite being the first genuinely new allopathic treatment in the acne category, Differin sales only reached US$17mn in the brand’s first full year since switch, leading Nestle to revamp the brand in late 2017 with line extensions and packaging updates.

Nestle Skin Health’s key consumer brands are Cetaphil, Loceryl and Benzac, as well as the home treatment acne programme Proactiv. Cetaphil is its key OTC brand, according to DB6, thanks to its expansive range and wide skin care positioning, from eczema & psoriasis to acne and anti-itch. Cetaphil Dermacontrol and Cetaphil Restoraderm are both well-established in the US market, while Cetaphil also has a strong presence in Australia, Brazil, Germany and several Middle Eastern countries.

Nicholas Hall’s recent report, Dermatologicals: Trends, Innovations, Opportunities, analyses the Derma market from the global level down to individual category-by-category reviews. This key report also examines medical devices, cosmeceuticals and much, much more. It covers launch activity, innovations and emerging niches, spanning a range of categories, including eczema & psoriasis, cold sore treatments and wound care. To purchase your copy or to find out more, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

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Eczema sufferers offered new hope

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A new medication may improve signs and symptoms of severe eczema, according to the findings of two Phase III clinical trials published on 1st October in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A multi-institutional research team conducted the trials (SOLO1 and SOLO2) to test the effects of dupilumab (Regeneron / Sanofi) among 671 and 708 (respectively) participants with severe eczema.

For 14 weeks, participants received dupilumab (300mg/w), placebo or alternate weekly dupilumab and placebo. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants achieving a score of 0 or 1 (clear or almost clear) on the Investigator’s Global Assessment and a 2+ point reduction in that score from baseline at week 16.

The findings from SOLO1 and SOLO2 showed primary outcome occurred in 38% and 36% of participants who received dupilumab on alternate weeks and in 37% and 36% of those who received it weekly, vs 10% and 8% of placebo group, respectively.

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Most patients who got the active drug, dupilumab, instead of a placebo reported that the itching began to wane within two weeks and was gone in a few months, as their skin began to clear. Nearly 40% of participants getting the drug saw all or almost all of their rash disappear.

The drug blocks two specific molecules of the immune system that are overproduced in patients with this and some other allergic diseases. The only side-effects were a slight increase in conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the outer membrane of the eye and swelling at the injection site.

Eczema & psoriasis is one of the categories covered in our round-up of OTC skin care treatments that are being published in the September and October editions of all four OTC INSIGHT titles.

US acne OTC market ready to pop

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It’s amazing that the OTC treatment of acne has been limited to benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid treatments for more than three decades, but now US teens and adults suffering from the condition have new options in the form of a medical device and the pending launch of an Rx-to-OTC switch topical gel.

J&J has launched Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask, said to harness the power of clinically proven technology to clear acne and allow skin to heal itself. The mask emits blue light to kill acne-causing bacteria, while its red light goes deeper to reduce inflammation. Use is simple, with people putting the mask on after cleansing their faces and pushing the button and letting it work for 10 minutes.

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The US$40 mask includes 30 treatments, and subsequent purchases of the Light Mask Activator for US$17 means the mask can be charged for another 30 treatments. Although there are many light devices for acne treatment available on e-commerce sites like Amazon, the cachet of the trusted leading OTC acne brand, Neutrogena, on the label, and the far lower price point compared to other devices makes this product a game-changer.

Meanwhile, Galderma (Nestlé) is getting ready to launch Differin Gel (adapalene), the first retinoid acne treatment to be available as an OTC when the FDA approved its switch from Rx-only status last summer. The topical drug will dramatically change the complexion of retail shelves with a new ingredient for a skin condition that can have a major quality of life impact on millions of consumers. The Differin website promises that the new OTC will be on retail shelves soon.

This month, OTC INSIGHT North America will cover the acne remedies market in more detail as part 2 of its skin care report. To learn more about INA, click below:

Nicholas Hall’s OTC INSIGHT regional periodicals

OTCs In Action: Making Sunscreen Fun

This month, OTCs are in Action in South Africa, where ad agency FCB Cape Town made sun safety fun with a giant inflatable Nivea Sunslide that dispensed sunscreen. Equipped with goggles for protecting their eyes from the lotion, kids – and some adults – had a great time slipping on their sunscreen during the event.

FCB thought up the SunSlide campaign after learning that South Africa has the world’s highest rate of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. The massive water slide is equipped with hundreds of spray-jet portals and filled up with 50 litres (roughly 13 gallons) of SPF 50+ waterproof sunscreen to ensure all participants get equal coverage.

 

Last year, FCB Brazil was lauded for the Nivea doll campaign, which gave Brazilian children hands-on experience with sun-sensitive dolls that would turn lobster red if Nivea sunscreen was not applied in time.

Sunscreen ingredients are classified differently around the world – cosmetics in many countries, drugs in the US – but their efficacy in disease prevention is undisputed. Of course, that’s only if people use them – kudos to FCB for brilliant consumer behaviour tweaks!