Artes Files for Bankruptcy After Drop in Facial Filler Sales

12/3/08

Artes Medical, a maker of an injectable filler to smooth facial wrinkles, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, citing reduced consumer spending on its cosmetic treatment due to the poor economy.

The San Diego-based medical technology firm said in an earlier SEC filing on November 21 that a liquidation of its assets and bankruptcy were in the offing due to a drop in sales of its treatment, an inability to raise funds, and a failed bid to negotiate with lender Cowen Healthcare Royalty Partners. Artes also disclosed last month that it had reduced its workforce to fewer than 15 people, which the San Diego Union Tribune reports meant the elimination of more than 100 jobs.

Among the events leading to its bankruptcy, Artes included the proxy battle it faced in August from dissident investors headed by a shareholder named H. Michael Shack. The so-called “Shack Group” revealed an interest to invest some $30 million into Artes, but the investors and company management never reached an agreement.

“I have been with the company as vice president [of manufacturing operations] and officer since June 2004, and can honestly say this could have been prevented,” Larry Braga, one of the workers laid off, told the Union Tribune.

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