AbbVie’s acquisition of Allergan rides on the success of Botox, but how long does Botox have left?


Allergen's key lucrative feature would be its Botox franchise, a staple force in its pipeline with its sales making up approximately one-fifth of total sales. And with AbbVie eager to diversify their portfolio as their mega blockbuster Humira drops, it is vital that Botox can provide some much needed relief.

It has continued to perform steadily in the past two quarters of 2019, reporting a sales jump from last year quarters but a slower growth rate forecasts a challenging year for the medical therapeutic product.
Botox racked up an impressive $252.4million in sales in the US and $175.8million worldwide representing a year-on-year increase of 6.7% and 10.7% respectively. Added to its worldwide sales is also its success as a therapeutic for migraines, muscle spasms and other indications, which add 3.6% amounting to a total sale of $545.8million.

The 6.7% US growth left a lot to be desired as it was quite significantly lower than the 16.7% Botox posted in the first quarter. This drop can be acquitted to the emergence of a new competitor in the market. Evolus recently launched its own neurotoxin, Jeuveau, in the US at a list price of $610 per 100-unit vial, a small premium on Botox, however where it draws the advantage is unlike other drugs it is covered by insurance. This means that doctors can buy it directly from drug makers at a discount off the list price. This means that a higher price on Jeuveau could translate into higher profits for doctors.

Jeaveau also has the backing of clinical trial results which show its works just as fast and well as Botox. Doctors have also responded well to the new treatment, with one third of a trial team composed off 18 dermatologists and seven plastic surgeons saying they would switch to Jeaveau, citing the higher profits and better service as the main reasons.

Botox is also not faring well in the migraine market, with recent launches of CGRP inhibitors, creating a more competitive environment. With potential launches off oral CGRP just around the corner expected to steal a portion of Allergens market share.

Other products in Allergens portfolio also did not fair well with body contouring therapy CoolSculpting plummeting 27.1% in Q2 to $78.9m. Eye drug, Restasis also decreased 2.3% in the US to $310.9million. But its not all doom and gloom as their antipsychotic drug Vraylar hauled in $196.1 million up 36.4%. And Allergan also recently secured a nod from the FDA to treat depression in bipolar disorder.

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