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ARCHIMED buys Cellese, a pioneering developer of growth factors and exosome-based skincare products

 May

 15, 

2024

Partnering with ARCHIMED provides the strategic resources needed to further accelerate Cellese’s science-based edge in regenerative skincare and skin-longevity treatments.

Global private equity healthcare specialist ARCHIMED announces the acquisition of a majority stake in Cellese, a developer of innovative topical dermo cosmetics sold under the AnteAGE brand name. Cellese products aid in skin rejuvenation. Located in Irvine, California and founded in 2009, Cellese’s cornerstone technology is based on harnessing the body’s natural regenerative properties using growth factors, exosomes and biosomes™.

Cellese products are distributed and sold through dermatologists’ offices and aesthetic clinics. They are applied when patients receive radio frequency, laser and microneedling treatments, or at home to promote skin longevity. Cellese has recently launched a range of products utilizing exosome technology. Exosomes are natural lipid nanoparticles which can support skin rejuvenation by replacing the biosignals lost with age. Exosomes are effective for all skin types, providing broad global accessibility.

“Cellese is at the most advanced stage in terms of commercialization of non-invasive, science-based skincare treatment,” says ARCHIMED partner (and former CEO of skincare specialists Naos and Bioderma), Jean-Yves Desmottes.

“We had numerous parties eager to invest in Cellese, from strategics to private equity firms, but we went with ARCHIMED,” says Cellese CEO and co-founder Ian Sanderson. “ARCHIMED understood the potential of a complex and underexploited market and they were committed to supporting our vision.” Sanderson and his family are rolling over an important part of their proceeds from the sale back into Cellese for a significant minority stake.

Cellese revenues, based on global sales in 45 countries, have grown 70 percent annually since 2020. Cellese is the sixth investment of ARCHIMED’s MED III fund, which closed on €650 million in 2021 and is now one-third invested. Although just a bit more than two years old, MED III is already valued at 1.1 times the value of its paid-in capital. MED III targets small cap healthcare companies, partnering with families, founders and management teams.

“We’ll use our financial firepower, our industry knowledge and our global connections to ensure that Cellese significantly wins its pole position in what is already an explosively growing market for exosome-based skin health treatments.”

Igor Petricca, ARCHIMED partner

The latest fund’s predecessor, MED II, is a top decile performer for global buyout funds for its 2018 vintage year, according to Preqin. The inaugural MED I, which raised €150 million in 2014, is ranked the best performing buyout fund globally for its vintage year – regardless of sector focus and size – returning in excess of six times invested capital (more than 92 percent already distributed to investors). ARCHIMED also invests in the mid-cap space through its MED Platform II fund, which raised €3.5 billion in June, and MED Platform I which raised €1 billion in 2019. MED Platform I is also a top decile performer, according to Preqin data.

Overall, ARCHIMED is listed as the world’s 6th best performing firm in the just-released 2023 HEC-DowJones MidMarket Buyout Performance Ranking (out of 632 midmarket firms globally).