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Prevage Makes Prestige Debut

Launched last fall in dermatologists' offices by pharmaceutical giant Allergan, Prevage is said to have rung up retail sales of $15 million in its first seven months.

NEW YORK — Elizabeth Arden and Allergan are hoping to turn back time this winter — or make it look like their consumers have done so, anyway — with Prevage, an antiaging skin care serum.

Launched last fall in dermatologists’ offices by pharmaceutical giant Allergan, Prevage is said to have rung up retail sales of $15 million in its first seven months. The main component in the antiaging treatment is idebenone, a benzoquinone compound that is said to be a powerful topical antioxidant.

Spurred on by its success in doctors’ offices, Allergan — which also manufactures Botox — then started looking to expand its reach into the prestige beauty market, “but they didn’t have department or specialty store expertise,” noted E. Scott Beattie, chairman and chief executive officer of Elizabeth Arden Inc.

That led to a comarketing deal between Allergan and Elizabeth Arden, inked in May, which gave Arden rights to the Prevage name and its main ingredient, idebenone, in every market globally except dermatologists’ offices.

A repackaged and reformulated version of Prevage, with a 0.5 percent concentration of idebenone, will bow in December in about 2,000 department and specialty store doors. About 1,500 are doors in which the Arden brand is currently sold, although Prevage also will be sold in doors that do not carry the Arden brand — including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, noted Elizabeth Park, senior vice president of global marketing, skin care and color cosmetics, for Elizabeth Arden. In stores where the Arden and Prevage brands coexist, they will be merchandised on separate counters, said Beattie.

Park added that the new prestige market version has additional antioxidants, including green tea, and a brightening complex. And while the original was more ointment-like, the new version has a serum consistency. A 1.7-oz. metal airless pump bottle will retail for $150.

While neither Beattie nor Park would comment on projected sales in the product’s new channel of distribution, industry sources estimated that Prevage could do $50 million at retail in its first year in U.S. department and specialty stores. National advertising will begin breaking in December fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, and about 200,000 deluxe miniature samples will be distributed. As well, a product Web site, prevageskin.com, is being readied, intended to educate consumers about the benefits and clinical results of the product.

Prevage will hit department and specialty stores outside the U.S. beginning in March.

Allergan will continue to sell Prevage in dermatologists’ offices under the moniker Prevage MD. The doctor version contains 1 percent idebenone; its revamped packaging bowed this week.

Beattie noted that future Prevage products codeveloped by the two companies are likely, but declined to offer further details. The soonest such products might appear would be sometime in 2007, he said.