Purchase gives Allergan entry into the market for neurotoxin with cosmetic and medical uses.
Naturally occurring botulinum neurotoxins isolated from the microorganism Clostridium botulinum block muscle hyperactivity by preventing the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from nerve cells, a compound essential for muscle contraction, and thus are used as muscle relaxants. Botulinum neurotoxin products have been approved for the treatment of cervical dystonia and various conditions associated with muscle spasms as well as aesthetic applications.
Most of these botulinum neurotoxin products are based on botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A), which has the disadvantages of a slow onset of efficacy (3-7 days) and a long duration of action, which can result in muscle atrophy and weakness. These products are therefore not the best solution for acute indications that require faster rehabilitation, quick reduction of musculoskeletal pain, and faster recovery of normal function, according to California-based neurotoxin developer Bonti.
To address the need for alternative neurotoxin treatments, Bonti is developing products based on botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E), which has a faster onset of efficacy and a shorter duration of activity as determined through preclinical and clinical studies. The company has two candidates in phase 2 development: EB-001A for cosmetic applications and EB-001T for medical treatments. Both are designed to take effect within 24 hours and last 2 to 4 weeks. Bonti has confirmed the safety and efficacy of the active botulinum neurotoxin EB-001.
The successful results that Bonti has had to date have attracted attention, as reflected by Allergan’s recent move to acquire the firm. Allergan will make an upfront payment of $195 million. Additional commercial milestone payments will be made subject to certain adjustments and other customary closing conditions.
Botox is already part of Allergan’s portfolio. It is also a player in the "body contouring" (fat zapping) market. This acquisition indicates that the company plans to remain involved in this sector. In a press release, Allergan noted that approximately 65 million consumers are considering facial injectable treatments. It believes they would prefer a faster-acting solution.
"The acquisition of Bonti is a strategic investment for the future of our Medical Aesthetics business,” said
Brent Saunders, Chairman and CEO of Allergan. “We're excited about the development and commercial prospects for our novel programs within Allergan's leading Medical Aesthetics portfolio," Bonti CEO and co-founder added Fauad Hasan.