HUGEL Inc.(Kyeong-yeop Moon, CEO)
Naturally we humans pursue beauty by constantly overcoming weaknesses. This may explain why cosmetic surgery enjoys stable growth. At present, fillers are most widely used for cosmetic surgery and, nearly 100 filler products are available on the market.
While hyaluronic acid fillers have a strong presence in the market, HUGEL, an R&D-based representative biopharmaceutical enterprise, has succeeded in developing high-viscoelasticity and high- concentration hyaluronic acid filler.
The excellency and upgraded-technologies in Koreanmade
Currently, fillers used for plastic surgery are largely divided into hyaluronic acid fillers and non-hyaluronic acid ones. While hyaluronic acid fillers are popular and some major companies in Korea manufacture such products, they do not enjoy the same popularity as imported fillers.
Nevertheless, domestic fillers have caught up with imported products over the past few years in terms of prices and customer satisfaction, gradually narrowing the quality gap, and HUGEL has played an important part in such developments.
“In 2012, the Korean market solely depended on imported hyaluronic acid fillers despite efforts for localization over many years due to unsatisfactory quality,” said Soon-woo Kwon, vice president of HUGEL. “And there was no pain-free product at that time. The domestic market size grew to be KRW 20 billion, a third of the botulinum toxin market, but 70% of the market was dominated by foreign products such as GARDERMA and Allergan.
There were some domestic products, but they could not meet the requirements of the market due to low quality, despite competitive prices. In such circumstances, HUGEL has developed a filler that can satisfy the needs of the market and strengthen the competitiveness of local products.”
Development of high-elasticity and
high-concentration hyaluronic acid filler
While plastic surgery is permanent, filler can be removed after injection if the result is unsatisfactory and thus it is more preferred by customers. The reason why hyaluronic acid fillers are especially popular is that the material can retain more than 1,000 times its weight in water, which is expected to keep the skin moist and young.
However, for hyaluronic acid fillers to provide the function of hydrolifting, reduce deep wrinkles around the mouth, wrinkles on the forehead, or under-eye hollows, or make a sharp nose or chin, various degrees of viscoelasticity for each target area should be ensured through optimized concentration of hyaluronic acid and cross-linking reaction.
In this regard, HUGEL has succeeded in developing a filler product that has the best quality among domestic fillers, which can sufficiently replace imported products.
“This time we developed filler that has the highest elasticity compared to other products in the Korean market and also a syringe that will secure competitive advantage for us in the fierce market,” said Soon-woo Kwon. “In particular, our high-elasticity filler is suitable for rhinoplasty, which accounts for a considerable portion of sales in the Asian plastic surgery, in terms of durability and long-lasting shape, and therefore is expected to increase sales and expand markets.”
In fact, HUGEL has obtained CE Mark (Europe) and domestic approval for 30 items after being successfully approved as Class IV for medical devices (biomaterials for tissue repair) to be used for deep wrinkles reduction around the mouth and as pain-free filler for the same wrinkles. During the project for metropolitan economy vitalizing businesses the company held a large-scale launching event, inviting plastic surgeons and dermatologists as well as experts in developing, manufacturing, and licensing, and showcased the product through overseas exhibitions, improving sales prospects for “The Chaeum,” the company’s flagship product.
Investing 15% of the sales in R&D to lead the filler market
Meanwhile, HUGEL is planning to actively develop biodegradable pharmaceutical materials using micro-needles and fillers for hydrolifting (with skin firming and lightening) and for body contouring based on the technology.
“Botulinum toxin and fillers are being as widely used medicine and medical devices and their application for skin care keeps increasing but subcutaneous injection causes considerable pain and requires a certain period of recovery with higher costs compared to cosmetics,” explained Mr. Kwon. “Meanwhile, there are a great number of functional substances that can be used for cosmetic products but they can’t be effectively absorbed due to the skin barrier, so we’re developing easily applicable toxin through micro-needles without pain and highly functional cosmetics in order to solve such problems. In addition, we’re focusing our resources on hydrolifting that can be achieved through several small-amount injections of hyaluronic acid applied to a wide area with the purpose of replacing imported fillers through optimized concentration of hyaluronic acid and cross-linking reaction, fillers that can improve skin elasticity and reduce pigmentation.
Moreover, we will develop biocompatible hyaluronic acid filler that can be used in body contouring and address issues such as saggy hips and breasts, for which surgery with silicone implants is currently the only option available.” People’s desire to be more beautiful is never-ending. Hence, cosmetic surgery market is expected to grow continuously, especially the market for filler products. In this regard, HUGEL is expected to see a growth in size. But more importantly, what makes the company’s future even brighter is its bold investment in R&D, which accounts for 15% of the sales. Instead of growing pains, the company is experiencing a healthy growth through its aggressive R&D.
‘The Chaeum’, flagship product of HUGEL, has viscoelasticity from Level 1 to Level 4, and the company’s patented syringe facilitates application of the filler.
Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods