Allergan looks to needle-free delivery for Botox

Allergan ($AGN) is looking to develop a needle-free formulation of Botox, and it has signed a co-development deal with American Medical Systems ($AMMD) to use that company's JetTouch platform.

Allergan got a urinary incontinence indication from the FDA in 2011, but only for patients with neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis. The company is hoping to expand the Botox market to include people with over-active bladders, and AMS' JetTouch may be just the platform to get it there. 

JetTouch is a transdermal injection tech, delivering drugs without the use of a needle to any area accessible endoscopically or percutaneously. AMS, which is owned by Endo Pharmaceuticals ($ENDP), doesn't have FDA approval for the platform yet. The co-development deal stipulates that AMS develop JetTouch for general use in the bladder, and then, assuming Botox gets the expanded indication Allergan wants, seek approval for a needle-free formulation of the drug.

The companies didn't disclose the terms of the deal, but Endo R&D Vice President Ivan Gergel said the partnership with Allergan will help speed along JetTouch's development and open up further opportunities.

And while we don't know what AMS' cut will be if Botox gets approved for over-active bladder, the company could be in line for quite a payday. In filing for an expanded indication in March, Allergan estimated that more than 3.2 million Americans take oral over-active-bladder drugs, with more than half of them quitting the treatment because of low effectiveness and troublesome side effects. If a needle-free formulation can crack that market, Allergan estimates it could add $400 million to Botox's annual sales.

- read AMS' release