By and  on May 5, 2005

NEW YORK — Elizabeth Arden, Inc. said Wednesday that it has entered into a co-marketing agreement with specialty pharmaceutical firm Allergan, that it will do a second Britney Spears scent, and released third-quarter earnings.

Allergan, which also manufactures Botox, introduced Prevage — a skin care product with 1 percent idebenone, a benzoquinone compound that is said to be a powerful topical antioxidant — in January to physicians. Under the agreement, Arden will market a version containing 0.5 percent, or half the original potency, in prestige department and specialty stores beginning in early 2006, said E. Scott Beattie, chairman and chief executive officer of Elizabeth Arden Inc. A repackaged version of the original-strength product, to be dubbed Prevage MD, will bow in physicians’ offices this fall.

Arden’s research and development staff and Allergan’s scientists will work together on the new formulation. Beattie said marketing, promotion and manufacturing all will be done jointly. The two also will jointly develop additional Prevage products, though Beattie declined to give further details. 

All of the products developed under this deal will be marketed under the Prevage brand name at retail, rather than the Elizabeth Arden name, and the two will have separate retail counters. “Allergan has a long history in the dermatology channel of skin care and a leading market share,” said Beattie. “We believe it makes sense to combine the tremendous attributes of both of our companies to deliver a blockbuster product to the market.”

While Beattie emphasized that such details as final prices and door counts are still being worked out, he did say the Prevage products in prestige distribution will be “premium-priced.” While he wouldn’t quantify that, sources said price tags on the products likely would be north of $150. Prevage’s largest group of users likely will fall in the 35- to 60-year-old age range.

Beattie hopes to take the products into “upscale distribution” globally, including both specialty stores in the U.S. and in European pharmacies.

Elizabeth Park, senior vice president of global marketing, skin care and color cosmetics for Elizabeth Arden, noted that there is still “tremendous opportunity” in the derm segment of the business, which sources said generated $50 million overall in the U.S. in 2004. The skin care market in the U.S. is estimated at upward of $1.6 billion in retail sales yearly. “Consumers are getting far more sophisticated in terms of skin care,” she said. “They want maximum efficacy.” Both men and women will be targeted as users, she added.

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