Botox has ruled the anti-wrinkle market for two decades now, but a potential rival has just been cleared by the FDA. The agency on Thursday approved the drug Daxxify, made by Revance Therapeutics, reports the Hill. Like Botox, Daxxify is what's known as a botulinum toxin that gets injected around a patient's frown lines, per Reuters. Daxxify, however, appears to have a key advantage in that studies suggest it keeps wrinkles at bay for six months, twice as long as Botox. The idea that patients might be able to receive treatment only twice a year could be a big lure.
"In a world where time is of the essence, having a product with a long duration factor is extremely useful," Dr. Balaji Prasad, a pharmaceuticals analyst for Barclays Investment Bank, tells the New York Times. He calls Daxxify the biggest advance in the lucrative (roughly $3 billion a year in the US) field of "facial injection drugs" since Botox. The latter drug, made by AbbVie, now controls 70% of the market, but that could change in a big way. Another analyst tells Reuters that Daxxify is expected to be half the size of Botox in about three years.
While both drugs involve patients being injected with a toxin, the FDA says the procedure is safe when used as directed, resulting in no detectable toxin in a person's bloodstream. Side effects for Daxxify cited in the studies include headaches and droopy eyelids. However, the FDA also warned about the potential for general muscle weakness and breathing difficulties, per the Hill. Revance did not list a price as it prepares to roll out the drug in limited fashion, but it's expected to be pricier than Botox given the longer duration. (Read more Botox stories.)