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After six years of advising Artes Medical as outside counsel, Karla Kelly became its first general counsel in December. “It’s been very interesting to watch the culture change from that of a very small company to a one that’s much larger and moving in a direction that will give it a lot of exposure,” says Kelly, 52. The medical technology company is in the process of developing a cosmetic treatment for smile lines. Before pursuing a legal career, Kelly was a practicing R.N. and did a stint in the Naval Reserve as a nurse. She describes her background in law and health care as “the perfect blend” for counseling medical providers. Kelly began advising the San Diego � based Artes when it had only five employees and an idea. With the market for wrinkle treatments and cosmetic procedures taking off, Artes began developing a permanent injectable dermal filler to plump out lines in the face. At the time, Kelly was practicing health care law at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps. Artes remained a client when she opened a private law office. The company now has 60 employees, and Food and Drug Administration approval is pending for its product, Artefill. Though Kelly has advised the company as outside counsel since its inception, she has noticed differences while working in-house. “I appreciate weighing in on the policy decisions of the company,” she says. “It’s easier to manage risk from the position of foresight than to react long after.”

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