Hugel, Inc. Korea’s #1 leader in the botulinum toxin and hyaluronic acid fillers space, announced the appointment of Brent Saunders to its Board of Directors, effective immediately in advance of his election as Executive Chair on June 29, 2022. The news comes on the heels of the close of the Hugel Inc. transaction by a consortium led by CBC Group (“CBC”), Asia’s largest healthcare-dedicated investment firm.
Mr. Saunders brings Hugel over 25 years of expertise in the pharmaceutical and medical aesthetics industries and has facilitated over $300 billion in deals across the healthcare and life sciences sectors over the course of his career. Mr. Saunders previously served as Chairman, President, and CEO of Allergan Aesthetics until its 2020 acquisition by AbbVie in a transaction valued at approximately $63 billion. Allergan Aesthetics is the maker of Botox, the world’s top-selling botulinum toxin brand, as well as the maker of leading dermal filler Judvederm. Earlier in his career, Mr. Saunders was President of Schering-Plough Corporation’s Global Consumer Healthcare division, where he facilitated the company’s acquisition of Organon Biosciences and the merger between Schering-Plough and Merck. Mr. Saunders also served as President and CEO of Forest Laboratories from 2013 to 2014, and Chairman and CEO of Bausch + Lomb Incorporated from 2010 to 2013. He currently serves as CEO of Vesper Healthcare Acquisition Corp.
Brent Saunders commented, “I am excited to join the world- class team at Hugel and CBC to continue building a global leader in medical aesthetics. With their commitment to operational excellence, customer service and R&D, our future is very bright.”
CBC is proud to bring on a leader that shares the firm’s vision to widen access to healthcare services by improving efficiency to fulfil unmet medical needs around the world. “As Asia’s largest healthcare-focused investment firm, CBC is a steadfast investor-operator and serial entrepreneur, committed to connect our portfolios with top industry veterans for accelerating sustainable growth,” said Fu Wei, CEO of CBC. “For decades, Brent has been one of the industry’s most respected visionaries, and he has a stellar track record of taking life sciences companies to the next level. His deep understanding of the medical aesthetics industry will further accelerate Hugel’s expansion beyond the Asian markets.”
Son Ji-hoon, CEO of Hugel, said, “Brent Saunders is an unparalleled leader in the global medical aesthetics industry, and he achieved remarkable results in his previous roles, including at the helm of Allergan. With his expertise and global experience, we plan to become a leading company in the global medical aesthetics industry, supported by our new investors and Board of Directors. I look forward to this new phase in our development, and to providing more medical aesthetics solutions to consumers and practitioners around the world.”
Hugel obtained its toxin license in China in late 2020, and rapidly gained 10% market share over its first year since launching in the country. Hugel also obtained marketing approval recommendation from the European HMA in January 2022, in addition to country level approvals from nine European countries including UK, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Ireland, Netherlands, and Romania. It is in the final stage of US FDA approval, which it could secure by mid-2023, opening a tremendous opportunity in the world’s largest medical aesthetics market.
CBC empowers sustainable, efficient growth of its portfolio companies throughout their lifecycles with a range of strategies including buyout, venture capital, private credit, and infrastructure solutions. Recent major milestones among its portfolio companies include the successful $67 million Series A financing of Boston-based Ensem Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on high-value and difficult-to-drug oncology targets, as well as a $140 million financing round for RVAC Medicines, which will support the launch of a new R&D center and manufacturing sites in Singapore to develop novel mRNA vaccines.