September 14 was a big day for Allergan plc‘s (NYSE: AGN) medical aesthetics business. The company announced its acquisition of Bonti, Inc., a privately held clinical-stage biotech that develops novel, fast-acting neurotoxin programs for aesthetic and therapeutic applications.
Later that same day, Allergan hosted a Medical Aesthetics Day in New York, at which its chief commerical officer, Bill Meury, said the company expects the unit to generate between $7 billion and $8 billion in sales by 2025. The business unit generated $3.8 billion in 2017.
Allergan’s Medical Aesthetics unit includes the famous neurotoxin Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA), which was first approved in 1989 and reached the patent cliff years ago. Other companies are gunning for a piece of the business. In March of this year, Revance Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RVNC) signed a collaboration agreement with Mylan N.V. (NYSE: MYL) to develop, manufacture and commercialize a biosimilar of Botox, earning $25 million on the deal. Evolus Inc. (NASDAQ: EOLS) is also developing a Botox-like product.
But Allergan’s $195 million deal for Bonti could beat those rivals to the draw. The Newport Beach, California-based company’s pipeline consists of two botulinum neurotoxin serotype E programs currently in Phase 2 development, EB-001A (aesthetic) and EB-001T (therapeutic).
The active ingredient in both programs, EB-001, is a novel botulinum neurotoxin serotype E with a unique clinical profile, characterized by a rapid onset of action within 24 hours and a 2 to 4-week duration of effect. Bonti recently announced topline results of the first clinical study of EB-001 in glabellar frown lines. The study confirmed both the safety and efficacy of the differentiated profile.
Meury said the products, if approved for commercialization, could be marketed as a “starter toxin” for patients who want to test-drive the treatment for the two to four weeks it is effective, before commiting to a longer-term treatment with Botox. All that decision-making could deepen those frown lines.