ASDS Board Member Rotunda's research leads to new fat-dissolving drug

Nov 18, 2015, 03:00 ET from American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A flood of news media coverage is introducing many Americans to Kybella, the new injectable drug that melts away double-chin fat.

Adam M. Rotunda, M.D., requires no such introduction. He's been there from the start, with his research more than a decade ago helping to set in motion Kybella's eventual approval by the FDA this spring.

"I am excited for Kybella to become the first agent in a new frontier of injectable medications that promises to shape, contour and reduce small packets of fat without surgery," said Rotunda, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and founder of Newport Skin Cancer Dermatology in Newport Beach, Calif.

Rotunda's involvement traces back to 2003, when he was a dermatology resident at UCLA studying in the lab of Mike S. Kolodney, M.D., Ph.D, then Assistant Professor of Dermatology. The duo performed a series of experiments on a purported fat-dissolving chemical known then by many names: Lipodissolve, mesotherapy and phosphatidylcholine/deoxycholate (PC/DC).

The two performed multiple studies revealing that deoxycholate (DC) alone has very powerful effects on fat, identifying it as the essential, active ingredient in the PC/DC formulation.

After an affirming clinical trial in 2005 investigating DC's effects on fat tissue, Kolodney presented the finding at a biotech conference, which caught the attention of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals. The company acquired the rights to the drug, then known as ATX-101. After the long path to FDA approval reached fruition earlier this year, Kybella played a prominent role in Allergan's $2.1 billion acquisition of Kythera this fall.

It is little wonder that Kybella's approval and release – the drug already is available in some areas – have generated extensive news media coverage. An eager marketplace awaits.

In the 2015 ASDS Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Dermatologic Procedures, 67 percent of respondents reported being "somewhat to extremely bothered" by excess fat under the chin and in the neck area.

Rotunda's work in developing Kybella adds to a longstanding tradition of innovation among ASDS members. Society members have played leading roles in pioneering many of the most frequently performed cosmetic medical treatments.

"ASDS members continue to make their mark on the specialty as the leading pioneers of cosmetic medical procedures," said ASDS/ASDSA President Naomi Lawrence, M.D. "The unmatched expertise and training our members possess places them at the forefront of innovation."

CONTACT: Jolene Kremer, 1-847-9569133,

Video -
Photo - 


SOURCE American Society for Dermatologic Surgery