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Topical Botulinum Toxin Will Turn Market 'Upside Down'


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WAIKOLOA, HAWAII – Topically applied botulinum toxin type A may no longer be a pipe dream, as it is now likely full speed ahead for proposed phase III trials of the agent.

The completed phase II program consisted of 11 clinical studies in which 553 patients had their lateral canthal lines treated with the investigational topical product known for now as RT001, under development by Revance Therapeutics. The results were highly impressive, according to Dr. Alastair Carruthers, a dermatologist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Dr. Alastair Carruthers: "Watch out for topical botulinum toxin. I think Revance is going to turn the neurotoxin market upside down."


"Watch out for topical botulinum toxin. I think Revance is going to turn the neurotoxin market upside down," he predicted at the Hawaii Dermatology Seminar, sponsored by Skin Disease Education Foundation (SDEF).

Revance has developed a proprietary platform that enables transcutaneous flux of large medicinal payloads. The company has reported successful proof-of-concept studies for topically delivered insulin, growth factors, and numerous other macromolecules with applications in fields ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer. But it’s the topical botulinum toxin project that has captured Dr. Carruthers’ attention.

"Their technology enables you to get the neurotoxin across intact skin, which is something I never thought that we would see. But it really works," he said.

No significant adverse events occurred in the phase II studies. There was no evidence of diffusion of neurotoxin away from the target muscle, and no effect upon the cranial nerves, he said. Laboratory monitoring and ECGs did not yield any evidence of systemic exposure.

The median duration of therapeutic effect was 113 days. The response rate was up to 89% based upon a stringent composite end point requiring a 2-point improvement as assessed independently by investigator and patient, he said.

The key to this technology is a synthetic peptide carrier which contains protein transduction domains and a backbone core that attaches to the neurotoxin molecule. This peptide carrier can be set to achieve different depths of penetration.

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