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FDA approves Allergan eyelash enhancer

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

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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