Allergan Could Lose a Third of Botox Market With FDA's Approval of Medicis' Dysport

Last Updated Apr 30, 2009 10:20 AM EDT

The FDA has approved a competitor to Allergan's Botox. The new wrinkle-fighting drug will be marketed by Medicis as Dysport. (Medicis had intended to call it Reloxin, but apparently it's become Dysport.) Medicis partner Ipsen will market Dysport for cervical dystonia. The company said:
Medicis anticipates shipping DYSPORT(TM) for aesthetic use in the U.S. during the next 30 to 60 days.
Allergan stock remained mostly unchanged on the news, but check out the nice bump that Medicis received (click on image to enlarge). Ipsen shares also went up.

Competition between Botox and Dysport is expected to be fierce, says Bloomberg:

Reloxin may be priced 15 percent lower than Botox, helping it take almost a third of the market over time, said Gary Nachman, an analyst at Leerink Swann & Co. in New York, in a phone interview last month. He estimates annual sales of Reloxin will be $160 million by 2012.
Allergan is already ramping up the anti-Dysport rhetoric, per the Orange County Business Journal:
Allergan ... has been preparing for competition, including hosting a Web seminar where it emphasized that Botox and Reloxin are not interchangeable.
And anyone who gets Google news alerts for Allergan -- and found themselves receiving dozens of stories a day about Botox -- will know that the company has been amping up the PR effort on the web.