Allergan steps up Latisse testing for baldness

Allergan's ($AGN) success story of late has been Botox, which is still going strong as a cosmetic treatment despite strained wallets, and has added new medical uses that promise to boost sales significantly. But CEO David Pyott is now pointing to Latisse, the Brooke Shields-advertised eyelash lengthener.

That's because Latisse has made it into a new phase of clinical testing as a baldness treatment. More data from tests in both men and women could come by the middle of 2012, Pyott says. "If it works on male and female baldness, that's a big deal," Pyott tells the Financial Times.

If Latisse shows promise for baldness, it could turn into a $500 million-plus treatment, rather than the $82 million product it is now, analysts say. Not bad for a glaucoma drug that spurred eyelash growth by accident.

Bernstein's Ronny Gal says Latisse-for-baldness could add $200 million to $500 million in annual sales by 2020. "It will grow hair from the existing follicle, and help you maintain the hair you've got," Gal tells Bloomberg. "It's clear it works in principle, because we know it grows eyebrows and we know it grows lashes."

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