Unlike dermatology companies that have built their businesses on developing improved formulations of marketed treatments, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. is using its understanding of skin biology to pursue a strategy that includes the risk-minimizing approach of repurposing drugs with a history of systemic use, as well as the development of novel agents.

Last week, the company made announcements on both fronts. Kythera started a Phase I/II trial of its lead compound, a novel injectable adipolytic to reduce localized fat deposits. The company also received exclusive worldwide rights to develop a