Bra-line fat: It's a thing, and Allergan's studying Kybella as a remedy

Allergan CEO Brent Saunders
Allergan CEO Brent Saunders

Allergan ($AGN) thinks facial injectable Kybella has the potential to one day bank Botox-level sales. And the company is starting up a couple new studies to help it get there.

The Dublin drugmaker is initiating trials of the med in bra-line fat and fat around the knees and ankles, Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal wrote in a recent note to clients. And it’s hoping those will eventually help it add some new indications to the mix, on top of Kybella’s current approval for busting chin fat.

Kybella is a key growth driver for Allergan, which recently sold off its generics unit to Teva ($TEVA) and--not long before that--watched its Pfizer ($PFE) megamerger collapse at the hands of the U.S. Treasury.

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The way CEO Brent Saunders describes it, Allergan’s aesthetic strategy is “owning the face”--and Allergan expects Kybella to “serve as a gateway to the lower face,” commercial chief Bill Meury told investors on the company’s Q2 conference call. It expects that strategy to open up a new market of consumers--including males.

And the way Allergan sees it, if the new Kybella indications eventually pan out--the way they have for blockbuster Botox, which treats everything from wrinkles to migraines--Kybella could “over time” become as large as the pharma’s star seller.

So far, everything’s going according to plan, Meury said on the call. Allergan has successfully capped off the first phase of Kybella’s launch--training more than 90% of the key injectors in the U.S.--and physician education is well underway.

Next up? “We are creating awareness and demand among consumers, which will be boosted by our DTC campaign beginning this month,” he said.

- read the call transcript

Special Report: The 25 most influential people in biopharma in 2015 - Brent Saunders - Actavis | The top 10 advertisers in Big Pharma

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