Allergan Exploring Hair Growth Use for Drug.18 Aug 2009, by HAIR LOSS SCIENCE in
Irvine-based Allergan Inc. may have stumbled upon a biggie in its ongoing quest to find cosmetic uses for its drugs: growing hair.
Allergan’s starting early work on research involving its bimatoprost drug to see if it can grow hair on the scalp, said Scott Whitcup, the drug maker’s executive vice president of research and development, on a conference call earlier this month.
Bimatoprost is the active ingredient in Allergan’s Lumigan, a drug for treating glaucoma, and Latisse, its new drug for growing eyelashes.
Drug makers often discover alternative drug uses that occur as side effects during clinical trials, as was the case with Latisse for eyelash growth.
Now Allergan is wondering whether the drug could be used to treat hair loss.
“Unlike Lumigan for glaucoma, we don’t have the eight years-plus of clinical trials data so we’re sort of starting from scratch,” Whitcup said.
Whitcup cautioned analysts it was “a little too early” to give a timeline on possibly marketing bimatoprost for hair growth.
Allergan is working “as quickly as we can” to get a formulation together, get pre-clinical work done and then go into clinic trials to gather information for a Food and Drug Administration supplemental new drug application, he said.
If bimatoprost is developed and approved for hair loss, it could be another blockbuster for Allergan. Industry sources estimate the market is around $1 billion a year for approved drugs for hair loss and hair transplants.
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