Allergan eyes billion-dollar mascara market

Move over mascara. Allergan announced today that it will be filing a new drug application for bimatoprost, a drug that it claims encourages eyelash growth. It expects sales in excess of $500 million per year--modest expectations in light of the estimated $3.7 billion per year mascara market. Allergan makes Lumigan, a glaucoma remedy that had the unusual added benefit of promoting eyelash growth. Some doctors were prescribing it off-lable for its cosmetic use, and Allergan has struck out at cosmetic companies for producing an OTC products they say are based partly on Lumigan ingredients.

Bimatoprost, a synthetic prostaglandin analog, results in eyelash growth that is significant when applied directly to the eyelash bases, according to Allergan's clinical trials. The company expects FDA to approve the drug in 2009.

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