Botox competitor aims to take market share as Allergan stumbles

An upstart company with a competitor to Allergan’s Botox has its eye on becoming the next wrinkle treatment of choice.

Evolus has already reached 2 000 doctors with a new app and plans to expand that to 3 000 before the launch of its medicine, Jeuveau, next week. The app includes a 90-day programme to start physicians with free samples to encourage more use, CEO David Moatazedi said in an interview at the company’s analyst day in New York.

Shares of the Irvine, California-based company rose as much as 6.3% on Wednesday and have more than doubled year to date following US regulatory approval in February. Allergan, meanwhile, is mired in debate about its long-term strategy even as Botox sales are handily beating analyst estimates.

Allergan shares fell as much as 1.7%, extending a two-day slump.


Evolus - which has been a public company for less than a year and a half - plans take market share by what Moatazedi, a former Allergan executive, calls “speaking human,” or marketing itself purely as a beauty company and not a medical one. Botox is approved for a range of both aesthetic and therapeutic uses.

And unlike Allergan, Evolus will focus its efforts on women - particularly younger women in their thirties who are most likely to be concerned about wrinkles. The company has already started a social media campaign with the hashtag #newtox. But that won’t keep men from using the drug - Moatazedi said he plans to try Jeuveau for the first time once sales begin.

Following the analyst event, Cantor’s Louise Chen said in a research note that she’s “even more confident that Jeuveau will be transformational for physicians and their patients.”

Moatazedi is sanguine on potential competitors like Revance Therapeutics moving forward with a new wrinkle smoother that could reach the market next year. Neurotoxin medicines like Botox and Jeuveau often take longer than anticipated to be approved, he said.

A $100m financing from March should be enough to get the company “out of the gate” with its launch, Moatazedi said. Having a controlling holder, Alphaeon, makes the company particularly “dilution sensitive” and fends off any predatory takeover interest, he added. Alphaeon is expected to eventually wind down some of its stake, which was 56% as of April 23, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, and I've gotten it.
22% - 312 votes
No, I did not.
51% - 740 votes
My landlord refused
27% - 397 votes