Quality is the primary focus for dermal filler manufacturer Prollenium Medical Technologies and when you visit the site, it’s clear this is at the fore.
Prollenium produces more than one million hyaluronic acid (HA) syringes per year and is the only dermal filler manufacturer in North America. It has more than 150 full-time employees and has an impressive new state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot facility in Richmond Hill, Ontario Canada. Having launched Revanesse in the UK with a bang at CCR in 2021, bringing headliner Dr Arthur Swift, it’s an aesthetic company you need to keep an eye on.
A little bit of history
Prollenium was founded as a laser distributor in 2002 by CEO and founder Ario Khoshbin with just a $300 loan. Khoshbin was joined by now president Khasha Ighanian, and in 2004 the pair shifted their focus to distributing HA dermal fillers. “Unfortunately, the product was not up to our standards so we decided to move everything in-house and develop our own product,” Ighanian explains, “We tasked our scientists to create a product that was very safe to inject, highly efficacious and backed with clinical research.” As the only dermal filler manufacturer in North America, Ighanian believes this has created a unique advantage. “Because we didn’t have the experience of European brands, our scientists had to start from scratch, and by doing that, I think we’re able to create something truly unique with fantastic results,” he explains.
The development process
Prollenium prides itself in creating everything in-house at the facility in Richmond Hill, from conception to injection. Ighanian says, “Our HA powder is sourced from HTL Biotechnology in France and this is really the only thing that we import – everything else we make.” The process entails mixing HA powder with water and other solutions with the BDDE crosslinking agent to create a gel. “Quality testing is conducted every step of the way,” Ighanian emphasies. “We test the gel throughout the entire manufacturing process, making sure no bacteria is introduced and that we get the end product we want. We do that by controlling every step of the process from beginning to end. After the gel is crosslinked, it’s sterilised and filled into syringes, and quality tested again.” Each and every syringe is manually and visually inspected by a person, and then packaged and ready to be sent around the world.
Why go spherical?
According to Ighanian, the other factor that makes the Revanesse dermal fillers unique is the shape of the particles. “All HA fillers are made up of particles, and what we wanted to do was create particles that were more spherical in nature. This is because we know that the body likes particles that are nice and round.” According to Ighanian, jagged particles have more surface area and are more likely to cause inflammatory reactions because the body is more likely to treat them as a foreign object.
To create smooth spheres, Prollenium has a two-step process. “First we ensure the crosslinking in that goldilocks zone – we don’t want it to be too hard or too soft. Secondly, what’s truly unique is the piston mill we have designed – we push the product through this mill, which creates nice round particles. It is important the crosslinking is perfect because if the gel is too hard, it shatters when it’s put through the mill, causing more jagged particles. If it’s too soft, it oozes through the mesh and it’s not milled down.” By having that optimally crosslinked gel going through the screens, Prollenium is able to get nice spherical particles.
Next in the Prollenium pipeline
Headed by director of R&D, Dr Timothy Lee, future advancements are at the core of Prollenium, with a strong pipeline of new products coming in the next four years. Revanesse Shape+ launched last October in the UK, is going through its US FDA trials to hit the US imminently. Prollenium has been working on its very own biostimulating product, aligning with the company’s ethos of round spherical beads, which, Dr Lee states, results in better collagen deposition and fewer adverse reactions. The two R&D facilities have enabled Prollenium to upgrade existing lines of products based on market feedback and new technology. Revanesse Pure for example, an HA skinbooster, has been reworked for longer-lasting hydration and skin texture improvement. The final products in the pipeline look more closely at body indications used to improve the appearance of hip dips and a scale for treatment is also in development.
Ighanian says, “We have a robust R&D team, which is the core that has been there from the beginning, so we have a very healthy pipeline. We have as many products as the imagination can handle, and we’re hoping to release a new product pretty much every year for the next five years and continue to be a pioneer in this field.”