Alginate (Novabel): A New Class of Injectable Filler
23 December 2014 (online)
A new class of biodegradable, injectable filler made of alginate, Novabel (Merz Aesthetics, Merz Pharma, UK), was launched in the European market in 2010. This product was supposed to be perfect to fill hollow eye rings and practitioners were immediately enthusiastic. Unfortunately, complications occurred as firm inflammatory nodules after a few months. Histological examinations revealed granulomatous reactions around spheroidal deposits. Treatment by triamcinolone injections was effective in some cases. Because of these complications, the company withdrew the alginate Novabel from the market. This is a didactic example of how a well-meant development with an insufficient test phase can turn into its opposite. Health authorities are exhorted to supervise not only drugs, but also injectables and other medical devices before they are launched, and during their application.