A new rival to Botox is set to shake up the anti-wrinkle market after being given FDA approval in February 2019. Daewoong Pharmaceutical’s Nabota treatment (which will be marketed as Jeuveau) for frown lines is expected to be considerably cheaper than the established market leader when it enters the US market this Spring. As well as being costing from 20-25% less, clinical trials have suggested that the new formula is more effective – so it is anticipated that it will cause considerable disruption in the market.

Botulinum toxin type A (commonly known as Botox) is a substance that prevents muscles from contracting by blocking the secretion of a neurotransmitter called acetyl choline. Developed by U.S. pharmaceutical company Allergan, Botox gained FDA approval in 2002, since when it has been widely used for cosmetic purposes. New Nabota/Jeuveau is a botulinum toxin formula with higher purity, developed by Daewoong Pharmaceutical in Korea.

Since its launch in 2002, Botox has remained largely unchallenged as an aesthetic injectable treatment, and its uses have evolved from purely cosmetic to treatment for conditions like migraine and bladder dysfunction.

This new botulinum toxin-type formula is reportedly more effective than Botox in smoothing out wrinkles. It was first used in Korea in 2014, and has been shown to be effective in treatment of facial wrinkles and stiffened arm muscles following stroke. In order to gain FDA approval, Daewoong Pharmaceutical conducted clinical trials involving over 2,100 people in the US, Europe and Canada.

Professors at the Department of Dermatology at Chung-Ang University Hospital, Korea, also carried out a clinical study in collaboration with Asan Medical Center and St. Paul’s Hospital of Catholic University. 268 patients were injected with either Botox or Nabota to treat wrinkles at the indentation between the bridge of the nose and the forehead.

Four weeks later, patients treated with Nabota showed up to 93.9% skin contraction, whilst Botox resulted in only 88.6%, No adverse reactions were reported, showing that the new drug is both stable and effective.

With distribution in the US yet to commence, Health & Aesthetics is awaiting confirmation about UK distribution of this new Botox alternative before deciding whether to offer it as part of our treatment menu.

Our Medical Director, Dr Rekha Tailor, said: “It’s always exciting when a new treatment gains FDA approval, because it gives us the confidence that we can offer it to our patients. FDA approval underlines both the safety and the effectiveness of a treatment, and we only offer treatments that have achieved it. Botox is one of the most popular aesthetic treatments around, and we have treated many happy patients. Being able to offer an alternative, even more effective option is a really exciting prospect.”

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