FDA approves Allergan's drug for longer eyelashes
Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:59pm EST
BOSTON (Reuters) - Allergan Inc, the maker of Botox, said on Friday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its eyelash-thickening drug Latisse.
Latisse is designed to treat a condition known as hypotrichosis of the eyelashes, which means a person does not have enough eyelashes.
The active ingredient in Latisse is bimatroprost, the same ingredient that is in Allergan's glaucoma treatment Lumigan. Patients taking Lumigan found a side effect of the drug to be eyelash growth, prompting Allergan to study it for the new use.
Latisse is a once-daily prescription treatment that is applied to the base of the upper eyelash with a sterile, single-use-per-eye disposable applicator. Once treatment is stopped, eyelashes will gradually return to where they were prior to treatment.
Allergan said it estimates global peak sales of Latisse solution could top $500 million a year.
Gary Nachman, an analyst at Leerink Swann, said that while approval was expected, "in this cautious environment, every approval through the FDA should be viewed positively."
Latisse is the first prescription product for lengthening eyelashes, making sales forecasting a little difficult.
Larry Biegelsen, an analyst at Wachovia, said he agrees with the company's forecast of more than $500 million. However, "we think the initial uptake will be muted due to the economic situation."
Biegelsen forecasts sales of $30 million in 2009, growing to $310 million in 2012.
Leerink Swann's Nachman said he expects the drug to generate sales of $20 million in 2009, growing to $80 million in 2012.
"We believe the opportunity for Latisse could be much larger, but we still need to do more work on this largely unpioneered market," he said.
Latisse is a structural prostaglandin analog, a lipid compound derived from fatty acids designed to bind to prostaglandin receptors. These receptors are present in hair and are thought to be involved in the development and regrowth of the hair follicle.
Side effects of Latisse can include eye redness, itchy eyes and a darkening of the eyelid skin. Though not reported in clinical studies, Allergan said Latisse may also cause the colored part of the eye to become browner, a condition that might be permanent.
Allergan said it expects to launch the product in the first quarter of 2009.
Allergan's shares rose 1.1 percent to $36.85 on the New York Stock Exchange.
FDA approves Allergan's drug for longer eyelashes | Health | Reuters
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Well it is a prescription, so it's not OTC. I can see where someone who has had chemo, or just born with little or no eyelashes may use this.
Eyelashes' purpose are for keeping dirt/particles out of your eyes, so they do serve a purpose other than a marketing gimmick for cosmetics companies.
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^ true but you know Allegan will market the hell out of it, for people who don't have anything else to worry about besides their eyelashes. Can you all imagine how quickly we'd have cures for fatal diseases if cosemetic procedures reseach was redirected? If only...
My dad had a growth removed from both of his eyes last year (2008) and the doctor gave him a Rx that he has to take daily forever.
Now his eyelashes are super long and thicker, and his eye color has changed from blue to blue with green around the pupil. The side effects (the only ones he has from the Rx) were noticeable within a few months.
This article reminded me of him, because up until a few months ago I didn't know it was possible to change your eyelashes/eye color like this.
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there are a few of these products already out there - i've seen them at spas and salons. i also know several people who have used them. i'm not going to lie, i'd definitely try it out if it wasn't so expensive because my eyelashes are horrible.
I've used it, the Jan Marini Eyelash Intervention and it works...I stopped using it though because my eyelashes have always been really long and I found that the stuff irritated my eyelids.
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