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Johnson & Johnson may cause wrinkles in the Botox market

March 27, 2013 |

Johnson & Johnson may soon cause frown lines at Allergan, maker of Botox, as it expects to seek US approval next year for an anti-wrinkle drug that could break Botox’s near monopoly, an 85% market share.

The Johnson & Johnson product could be available in the US in 2015 and other countries a few years later, the company says.

Two smaller drug makers with similar products have not made substantial inroads into the almost $900m-a-year market. But dermatologists and analysts say Johnson & Johnson could be a real threat to Botox, an iconic brand since it was introduced more than a decade ago. Allergan declined to comment on the potential rival.

“Johnson & Johnson is probably the only company that can go head to head directly with Allergan,” says Morningstar analyst Michael Waterhouse. “They have a big marketing budget and sales force, and an attractive cosmetic portfolio” of other products to offer dermatologists.

Still, Johnson & Johnson’s quest won’t be easy. Analysts and dermatologists say its product likely would need to work faster, last longer or be significantly cheaper than Botox in order to wrest market share from the original injectable wrinkle fighter.

“Johnson & Johnson is a company I’d take seriously; they have great research and try to be industry leaders in every category,” says Dr Kenneth Beer, a dermatologist in West Palm Beach, Florida who has been a consultant for both Allergan and Johnson & Johnson.

But he says patients aren’t quick to switch from something with which they are familiar.

“Allergan has built such a strong brand. People ask for Botox by name. This will be an uphill struggle” for Johnson & Johnson, Dr Beer says.

Johnson & Johnson has not yet unveiled the data from completed late-stage trials for the still unnamed drug.

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Source:  by Ransdell Pierson on March 27 2013 at

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