Luckily, the field of cosmetic dermatology and aesthetic surgery is not exactly sitting still. And the biggest action is in wrinkle removers and facial fillers. Botulinum toxin injections, better known under the brand name Botox, are the fastest growing cosmetic procedure with more than 6.1 million performed in 2012, up nearly 1,000% from 786,911 in 2000, according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Riding the facial rejuvenation boom, Allergan Botox sales are expected to reach $2 billion in 2013.
The facial rejuvenation market is being propelled by a shift towards less invasive and safer procedures, which has spurred both the facial filler and botulism markets.
But Allergan’s tremendous success has attracted a host of competitors. More than 50 competing products and alternative treatment options have surfaced, which is bound to considerably heat up the marketplace in the next few years.
Several competitors claim to be “purer” than Botox. This differentiation strategy is pursued by Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Mentor, which is set to gain acceptance for Purtox any time now, once clinical trials prove successful.
Also on the horizon is Xeomin from Frankfurt, Germany-based Merz Pharma, which claims to be “free of complexing proteins,” eliminating, among other benefits, the need for cool storage. Xeomin is currently licensed in most European countries, plus Argentina and Mexico.
Allergan’s biggest competitor in facial fillers is Phoenix, Ariz.-based Medicis Pharmaceutical, which has acquired the rights to market Reloxin in the U.S., a botulin sold in Europe under the brand name Dysport and licensed from Paris-based Ipsen. Reloxin is said to “spread” more under the skin, which could prove helpful in treating larger areas. Unfortunately, the FDA refused to accept Medicis’ application in January because the application “lacked enough information.”
But the biggest news yet could be a new vanguard of topical botulins, being developed by Newark, Calif.-based Revance. The company is working on a proprietary targeted delivery method, dubbed TransMTS technology, which allows large macromolecules to cross skin and other membrane barriers. Given that more than 20 million Americans suffer from blenophobia, the fear of needles, that could be a major advantage indeed.
Suffice it to say that the ingredients for a major boom sit waiting in the wings. And when the fear of needles can be addressed, you’ll be able to smile more thereby reducing your worry lines, naturally.