New Botox may escalate war on wrinkles

Johnson & Johnson may soon cause frown lines at Allergan Inc, maker of Botox. J&J expects to seek U.S. approval next year for an anti-wrinkle drug that could break Botox's near monopoly, an 85 percent market share. The J&J product could be available in the United States in 2015 and overseas a few years later, the company said.

Two smaller drugmakers with similar products haven't made substantial inroads into the almost $900 million a year market. But dermatologists and analysts say J&J could be a real threat to Botox, an iconic brand since it was introduced more than a decade ago. Allergan declined to comment on the potential rival.

"J&J is probably the only company that can go head to head directly with Allergan," said Morningstar analyst Michael Waterhouse. "They have a big marketing budget and sales force, and an attractive cosmetic portfolio" of other products to offer dermatologists.

Still, J&J's quest won't be easy. Analysts and dermatologists said its product likely would need to work faster, last longer or be significantly cheaper than Botox in order to wrest market share from the original injectable wrinkle fighter.

"J&J is a company I'd take seriously; they have great research and try to be industry leaders in every category," said Dr. Kenneth Beer, a dermatologist in West Palm Beach, Florida who has been a consultant for Allergan and J&J.

But he said patients aren't quick to switch from something with which they are familiar. "Allergan has built such a strong brand. People ask for Botox by name. This will be an uphill struggle" for Johnson & Johnson.

J&J has not yet unveiled the data from completed late-stage trials for the still unnamed drug. But David Wilson, president of J&J's Mentor division, told Reuters he was pleased with the results.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.