AbbVie's Allergan Aesthetics dishes out $550M for Soliton and its cellulite, tattoo remover

The deal is built around Soliton’s Resonic cellulite and tattoo removal device, which uses rapid pulses of acoustic shockwaves to help fade unwanted ink and break apart undesired fat deposits for short-term improvements in its dimpled appearance. (Getty Images)

After launching the commercial rollout of its first FDA-cleared device just last week, Soliton will have little time to rest on its laurels—it's been targeted by AbbVie’s Allergan Aesthetics division for a $550 million acquisition to help expand the Big Pharma’s body contouring portfolio.

The deal is built around Soliton’s Resonic cellulite and tattoo removal device, which uses rapid pulses of acoustic shockwaves to help fade unwanted ink and break apart undesired fat deposits for short-term improvements in its dimpled appearance. 

Allergan Aesthetics has signed on to pay $22.60 in cash for each of Soliton’s outstanding shares, about a 25% premium over the closing price on its last full day of trading. Since the announcement, Soliton’s shares rose to just meet that level.

The AbbVie subsidiary, picked up in a $63 billion megamerger last year, plans to slot the Resonic device next to offerings such as its CoolSculpting Elite and CoolTone hardware for freezing fat and strengthening muscle, as well as its flagship Botox cosmetic.

"There is a huge unmet need to address cellulite and effective treatments have been elusive and frustrating for consumers," Allergan Aesthetics Global President Carrie Strom said in a statement, pointing to Soliton’s non-invasive approach that promises no patient downtime with a procedure taking less than an hour.

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Though Resonic received its first FDA clearance for tattoo removal in May 2019, its full commercial launch is just now getting underway since the company scored a second agency greenlight in cellulite this past February. Soliton also received an April 510(k) for an updated version of the device, with a new user interface and autoloading cartridge design. Its first shipments are slated for June.

The device has also been clinically evaluated as a treatment for fibrotic scars—as well as preclinically in animal studies for liver fibrosis—and is paired with laser-based procedures for tattoo removal, spanning multiple sessions.