Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

This Botox Competitor Is on the Rise

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Allergan Plc, the battered drugmaker whose stock has lost a third of its value in under five months, fell as much as 4.1 percent Tuesday to the lowest since late 2013 after a small-cap biotech competitor revealed data for what’s been touted as a “better Botox.”

The latest threat to Allergan’s best-selling product is an experimental therapy from Revance Therapeutics Inc. known as RT002. The new drug appeared to last longer than Botox when used to smooth wrinkles between the eyebrows in late-stage studies. Revance plans to file an application with U.S. regulators in the first half of 2019 and could introduce the drug in 2020 if it’s approved.

The RT002 news follows a disclosure last week from the European Medicines Agency that Allergan and Gedeon Richter Nyrt.’s Esmya would face a risk-assessment review after reports of serious liver injury in patients treated with the uterine fibroid therapy. Allergan’s shares are down about 37 percent from their 52-week high in July.

Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan called Revance’s data the “controversy of the day” for Allergan. He expects the threat to remain an overhang on Allergan shares though it’s possible “both companies can win” by expanding the entire market for botulinum toxins. Allergan itself took a more definitive stance. “Based on the profile demonstrated in this data, Allergan does not view this toxin as being differentiated from Botox,” spokesman Mark Marmur wrote in an emailed statement.

“It seems that every day there is another dose of information that leads to additional questions/concerns around Allergan,” Divan said in a note to clients.

Meanwhile, Evercore ISI’s Umer Raffat wrote that while Revance’s treatment appears to last longer than Botox by at least a month, it remains to be seen if RT002 can get a six-month duration claim on its prescribing information. Shares of Revance rose as much as 40 percent Tuesday to the highest in almost two years.

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