VCs hope for Kythera replay with $34M Series A in aesthetics startup

Sienna CEO Frederick Beddingfield III

Double-chin elimination player Kythera sold for $2.1 billion to Allergan ($AGN) last year. Now, VCs are getting the band back together in hopes of similar success with another aesthetics startup, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals. It's raised a $34 million Series A round to support ongoing clinical testing.

Several former Kythera executives and investors have coalesced at Sienna, which aims to do for acne and hair removal what Kythera did for the double chin. Its Silver Plasmonic Therapy (SPT) Technology combines a topical solution containing plasmonic particles that interact with light emitted by existing medical laser systems to create energy and heat that target microstructures in the skin. Skin rejuvenation using the technology could also be in the offing.

The Westlake Village, CA-based startup expects to offer a safe, effective and easy option for moderate and severe acne patients with a physician-office based therapy, as well as more effective and universally useful hair removal.

"With this proven team and financing, we have a strong foundation from which we can advance our SPT technology and further our efforts in building a pipeline of early- to late-stage novel assets," said Dr. Frederick Beddingfield III, president and CEO of Sienna, in a statement. "All the pieces are in place to create the next great company in aesthetics and medical dermatology."

Beddingfield was the CMO at Kythera. Sienna CFO John Smither held the same spot at Kythera. Paul Lizzul, who was previously the senior medical director for Kythera, stepped up as CMO.

The Sienna round was led by ARCH Venture Partners with participation from Altitude Life Science Ventures, Partner Fund Management and Venvest Capital, all of whom were Kythera investors.

"Given the current changing corporate landscape and disruption in the dermatology space, we believe the timing is right for a company focused on innovation in aesthetics and medical dermatology," said Sienna Executive Chairman Keith Leonard, who was previously the CEO of Kythera.

- here is the release