Shortly after Lawrence T. Siow joined Merz Asia Pacific in November 2013, the German specialty healthcare company was on the verge of marking a professional milestone of its own.
In June 2014, it announced the purchase of medical device company Ulthera for US$600 million. In the huge, competitive, and
often controversial business of aesthetic treatments, Ulthera pioneered Ultherapy, a noninvasive procedure that uses micro-focused ultrasound technology to lift sagging skin in the brow, under the chin, on the neck, and on the décolletage.
“Ultherapy still is the only US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA)-cleared noninvasive lifting procedure that uses time-tested ultrasound energy to lift and tighten the skin naturally without surgery,” said Siow, Merz Asia Pacific CEO, during a recent trip to Manila to launch Ultherapy.
The largest acquisition in Merz’s history, Ultherapy beefs up an already impressive product portfolio of a company known for its groundbreaking treatment solutions in neurosciences, dermatology and aesthetics. The dermal fillers Radiesse and Belotero Balance are proud products of Merz, as are over-the-counter scar removal creams Contractubex and Mederma. Merz, which also owns Cellfina, a device cleared by the US FDA to remove cellulite, was the company that formulated the world’s first antiwrinkle cream in 1953.
For Siow, who was inducted to Merz’s Pharma Board in 2014 and boasts over two decades of managing and growing ethical, medical device and self-treatment consumer brand businesses, the acquisition of Ultherapy sees him at the forefront of a public awareness campaign on the efficacy of a treatment that is actually no stranger to these shores.
At present, 23 aesthetic centers and clinics in the Philippines have invested in the device and included it in their roster of premium services.
Recognized with a sticker of authenticity found on the main door of their establishments and on the body of the Ultherapy device, the accredited clinics and centers are the Aivee Institute, Advanced Aesthetics Clinic Co., Arnold Angeles M.D., Belo Medical Group, Caraderme Clinic, Corderm Advance Dermatology and Laser Center, CSA Derm Center, DARE, Dihas Skin Aesthetics, Dr. CRB Aesthetic & Laser Clinic, E-Derm Center, HOO Dermatology, I Derma Skin Clinic, Montesa Medical Group by Shimmian Manila, Oracle Aesthetic Clinic, Oroderm, Skin 101, Skin Aesthetiques, Skin and Cancer Foundation, The Dermatology Suite and The Skin Dermatology and Laser Center by the Spa.
“Ultherapy is available in over 60 countries where Merz is present,” said Siow. “In the Asia Pacific region, it is available in almost all countries. The Philippines is an emerging market for Ultherapy and one of its strong users. In fact, last year, we awarded the regional award to the Aivee Institute as being the top Ultherapy user in its category.”
Still, the ultimate vote of confidence is a glowing endorsement from someone who has actually experienced Ultherapy firsthand, and in the Philippines, it was Queen of All Media Kris Aquino who gave such a testimony in her trademark candor.
Impressed with the results of a friend who had undergone Ultherapy, Aquino decided to give it a try. She related the experience to a rapt audience during a recent Manila event. “The last thing I wanted was a drastic change that gave me a totally different look,” she summed up. “I wanted something subtle, just for a fresher and younger look.”
More than just recounting her time with the treatment, Aquino wanted to give consumers an insider’s account into what they can expect.
“One of the reasons she got involved with us is her fear that Filipinos might be using a machine that claims to be Ultherapy but isn’t,” said Siow. “She really speaks her mind. If she doesn’t believe in something, she wouldn’t want to be involved.”
Of course, the treatment, which is also the beauty secret of Hollywood A-Listers like Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox, doesn’t just work for the young or genetically gifted. The ultrasound technology in Ultherapy stimulates the formation of collagen and elastin, two naturally occurring proteins in the body responsible for keeping skin smooth and firm.
There is absolutely no downtime from a treatment that lasts 60-90 minutes. Desired results appear in two to three months’ time and can last up to two years.
“Men, women … the oldest known patient is 75,” said Siow when asked who benefits from the procedure. “Everyone has collagen and if you have a healthy body, Ultherapy can regenerate collagen. It works for everyone.” —CONTRIBUTED
Visit www.ultherapy.com, www.merzaesthetics.com. Follow UltherapyPH on Facebook and Instagram.