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Johnson & Johnson drops PurTox

By Andrew McDougall+

16-Apr-2014
Last updated on 16-Apr-2014 at 15:26 GMT

The company as a whole may have reported strong first quarter results, but Johnson & Johnson has ended efforts to rival Allergan’s popular Botox anti-wrinkle treatment.

The U.S. firm acquired PurTox in its $1.1 billion purchase of Mentor in 2009 with plans to launch the Botox rival last year after working through ‘some regulatory issues’.

However, having hit some stumbling blocks J&J has decided to drop the PurTox anti-wrinkle line and focus solely on the core breast surgery business that it bought Mentor for.

"After careful consideration, our Mentor business has decided to discontinue its neurotoxin program, commonly known as PurTox, in order to focus on its core breast surgery business, where we are an established leader and see greater opportunities to benefit patients and grow our business," J&J spokesman Thomas Sanford tells Reuters.

The decision brings further gloom on the company as it will also lead to the elimination of a small number of jobs in the U.S.

Formidable opponent

Botox has always been a formidable rival to have as it is Allergan's biggest selling product with annual sales of more than $2 billion and little serious competition, in the market.

The drug is primarily used cosmetically via injections to erase wrinkles on the forehead.

It is unclear whether there will be a charge associated with halting the anti-wrinkle drug development.

Finances

Elsewhere financially, J&J posted strong first quarter figures with sales of $18.1 billion, an increase of  3.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

Positive contributors to operational results were sales of Aveeno and Dabao skin care products; international sales of Listerine oral care products; and U.S. sales of Zyrtec, an over-the-counter allergy treatment.

“Johnson & Johnson delivered strong first-quarter results driven by successful new product launches and the continued growth of key products,” says Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO. 

“Our talented colleagues around the world continue to bring meaningful innovations to patients and customers, addressing significant unmet needs. We also advanced our near-term priorities and long-term growth drivers, positioning us well to deliver sustainable results.”

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