Botulinum injections are becoming more and more popular in markets outside of the US, where it first started to come to the fore some ten years ago. So far in Europe the UK has proved to be the fastest growing market, with Inamed aiming to supply major clinics such as the Harley Medical Group, which recently reported that the take-up of injections had increased by 150 per cent in the run up to Christmas.
Once the agreement is concluded, Inamed's existing distribution rights for cosmetic applications will be expanded. The company currently has the exclusive rights to seek regulatory approval and market the product for cosmetic applications in the United States, Canada and Japan.
The company added that phase III clinical trials for safety and efficacy of the product, branded as Reloxin for cosmetic indications, have commenced in the United States.
Nick Teti, CEO at Inamed, said: "We believe that this product will be very competitive and provide consumers with a safe and effective alternative to existing products for the treatment of facial wrinkles."
"This growth of our partnership with Inamed is expected to successfully bring this product to physicians and patients in Europe and other markets for cosmetic indications," said Alistair Stokes, vice president, Corporate Development for Ipsen.
Currently individuals receiving the treatment in the UK are paying around £260 (€370) per session, which has to be repeated on average once every six months. People say that the rise in popularity is due to the fact that it is now seen as a viable option to cosmetic surgery, with many younger people using it as a preventative measure to avoid the onset of wrinkling.
Although take up in the European market is still relatively small as a whole, many industry observers believe that the early and fast adoption of the treatment in the UK market will soon lead to it becoming more widespread there.
In 2003 an estimated 2.9 million Botox injections were administered in the US, and demand for the treatment is still growing.