Allergan Stock Falls as FDA OK's Botox Rival for Frown Lines

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Shares of Allergan plc AGN were down almost 4% on Monday after Evolus, Inc. EOLS announced FDA approval for its lead product, Jeuveau injection on Feb 1. The injection is indicated for the improvement of the appearance of glabellar or frown lines. Jeuveau will pose competition to Allergan’s largest product Botox, which is also marketed for the same indication. Evolus plans to launch Jeuveau this spring, reportedly at a discount of 20% to 25% to Botox.

Glabellar lines are frown lines found between the eyebrows and the central forehead.

Meanwhile, Revance Therapeutics, Inc. RVNC is developing RT002, a rival treatment to Botox for the frown lines indication. Data presented in 2017 had demonstrated that RT002 led to substantial reduction in severity of glabellar lines in phase III studies with a longer duration of efficacy compared to currently marketed neuromodulators including Botox.

Approved for therapeutic and aesthetic use, Botox is a key top-line driver for Allergan. Its cosmetic indications include three facial aesthetic treatments – forehead lines, crow’s feet wrinkles at the outer corner of eyes and glabellar lines.

Botox’s approved therapeutic indications include overactive bladder, cervical dystonia and strabismus among others.

Notably, Botox is one of the key revenue catalysts for Allergan. The drug generated sales of $3.58 billion in 2018, rising almost 13% year over year.

However, there have been concerns regarding possible new competitors to Botox, mainly for its therapeutic uses, which can pull down the blockbuster drug’s sales in the future quarters.

The entry of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antibodies in 2018 may have a negative impact on sales of Botox for the chronic migraine indication. Amgen/Novartis, Eli Lilly LLY and Teva Pharma’s CGRP migraine treatments, Aimovig, Emgality and Ajovy, respectively were all launched in 2018.

However, on the fourth-quarter conference call, Allergan management said that there was no visible negative impact on Botox demand following the launches of Aimovig, Emgality and Ajovy. Allergan is optimistic that the introduction of the CGRPs should expand the migraine market and Botox and the CGRPs can coexist in the larger market. Management said that the branded migraine prevention market had nearly doubled since the launch of Aimovig and Botox commanded 50% share of new patients.

Allergan’s share price has declined 17.7% in the past year compared with the industry ‘s decline of 15.6%.

Allergan currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

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