FDA Approves Radiesse for Facial Lipoatrophy

In late December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Radiesse, a new injectable therapy for the treatment of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) in people with HIV; Radiesse was also approved as a cosmetic treatment for moderate-to-severe facial wrinkles and folds.

Radiesse, manufactured by BioForm Medical, contains a synthetic material that stimulates collagen production. Another product, Sculptra (poly-L-acetic acid), is also approved for treating lipoatrophy in HIV positive people.

Radiesse is not a permanent treatment, but is expected to last at least several months, and possibly as long as a few years.

Following is the letter from the FDA announcing the approval:

Radiesse Approved for Facial Lipoatrophy by FDA

On December 22, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved Radiesse, an injectable (under the skin) implant to restore or correct signs of facial lipidatrophy [lipoatrophy], or fat loss, in people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Radiesse, a sterile, semi-solid cohesive implant consisting of synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite suspended in a gel carrier, is a medical device. It is already approved for use as a tissue marker, for treatment of vocal fold insufficiency, and to correct certain dental defects.

The safety and effectiveness of Radiesse for the treatment of facial lipoatrophy was evaluated in a prospective, open-label, multi-center study of 100 patients with human immunodeficiency virus and facial lipoatrophy. Study subjects were at least 18 years of age, HIV positive, with a CD4 count >250 cells/mm3 and viral load

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