One Drug, 25 Uses
For Allergan, a single cosmetic treatment becomes a pipeline.
Growth From InnovationPyott on Allergan’s commitment to R&D
Can one medical treatment have 25 different uses? Researchers at Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN), the Irvine, Calif.-based pharmaceutical company that owns Botox Cosmetic, have evolved the drug into its own pipeline, says CEO David Pyott.
In the past three years, the FDA has approved Botox to treat chronic migraines, certain cases of overactive bladder, and muscle stiffness in the elbows, wrists and fingers. That’s in addition to earlier approvals for severe underarm sweating, neck muscle spasms and uncontrollable eyelid twitching. The company is at work on applications for juvenile cerebral palsy and osteoarthritis pain, among other ailments.
Pyott says Botox is the perfect illustration of how a company can find new uses for a proven technology and expand into new business channels. For instance, he says, FDA approval in 2011 to use Botox for certain cases of overactive bladder enabled Allergan to create a new business unit: Urology.
Global sales of Botox are estimated to reach $1.76 billion to $1.8 billion for 2012, nearly 30 percent of Allergan’s total revenue. With 25 uses at different stages of development, Pyott says he isn’t worried about generics muscling their way into the market as patents expire over the next decade.