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Allergan Eyelash Growth Drug Wins Over FDA Panel, Steps Closer To Approval

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA's Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee voted unanimously (9-0) Dec. 5 to recommend approval of Allergan's eyelash growth-stimulating drug, Latisse

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Jan Marini responds to Latisse

Marini Lash Eyelash Conditioner "is a safe and cost-effective alternative to the new prescription-based Latisse product by Allergan for consumers seeking dense, lush-looking lashes," according to Jan. 22 release from Jan Marini Skin Research, which provides a head-to-head comparison of the two products. For example, one year of Latisse (12 monthly applications at $120 apiece) costs roughly $1,440, while a year's supply of Marini Lash (two 0.23 oz., $160 tubes) costs $320. JMSR notes that neither Marini Lash nor its companion product, Marini Mascara Performance Mascara, contain bimatoprost - the active drug in Latisse that was used first in an Allergan glaucoma treatment - though an earlier-generation Marini eyelash enhancer did (1"The Rose Sheet" Dec. 15, 2008, p. 7). "With Marini Lash, anyone can have thicker and lusher-appearing lashes without the substantial cost or warning labels that accompany the Latisse prescription product," the company says, adding that it "is also fantastic for eyebrows." Allergan has launched a multi-pronged campaign to raise consumer awareness of Latisse, the only eyelash enhancer with FDA's stamp of approval (2"The Rose Sheet" Jan. 12, 2009, p. 3)

Jan Marini responds to Latisse

Marini Lash Eyelash Conditioner "is a safe and cost-effective alternative to the new prescription-based Latisse product by Allergan for consumers seeking dense, lush-looking lashes," according to Jan. 22 release from Jan Marini Skin Research, which provides a head-to-head comparison of the two products. For example, one year of Latisse (12 monthly applications at $120 apiece) costs roughly $1,440, while a year's supply of Marini Lash (two 0.23 oz., $160 tubes) costs $320. JMSR notes that neither Marini Lash nor its companion product, Marini Mascara Performance Mascara, contain bimatoprost - the active drug in Latisse that was used first in an Allergan glaucoma treatment - though an earlier-generation Marini eyelash enhancer did (1"The Rose Sheet" Dec. 15, 2008, p. 7). "With Marini Lash, anyone can have thicker and lusher-appearing lashes without the substantial cost or warning labels that accompany the Latisse prescription product," the company says, adding that it "is also fantastic for eyebrows." Allergan has launched a multi-pronged campaign to raise consumer awareness of Latisse, the only eyelash enhancer with FDA's stamp of approval (2"The Rose Sheet" Jan. 12, 2009, p. 3)

FDA approves Allergan eyelash enhancer

Pharmaceutical giant Allergan expects to launch its bimatoprost-based Latisse drug for treating "inadequate" eyelashes (hypotrichosis) in first quarter of 2009. A once-daily prescription treatment applied to the base of the upper eyelashes, "Latisse fulfills a significant and previously unmet need in the medical aesthetic marketplace with a product approved by the FDA that increases the growth of eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker," according to Allergan. Results are evident in eight to 16 weeks, firm says, but notes that to maintain luxurious lashes individuals must use the product on a continuing basis, a disclosure recommended by an FDA advisory committee in December (1"The Rose Sheet" Dec. 15, 2008, p. 7). Latisse could bring in $500 million in annual sales, the company says. Like Allergan's blockbuster botulinum toxin type A (Botox) drug, bimatoprost was first approved by FDA as a medical treatment - for patients with glaucoma, among other eye disorders - before its aesthetic benefits were realized. The 13+ years of clinical data supporting bimatoprost could heighten its advantage over eyelash enhancers on the cosmetics market, which sector has been vigilantly policed by Allergan in defense of its patents (2"The Rose Sheet" Jan. 14, 2008, p. 8)

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