J&J had acquired the drug, PurTox, with its 2009
purchase of Mentor, a leading maker of breast implants for cosmetic
augmentation and reconstructive surgery.
"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 said in an
Ending the PurTox development program will result in the elimination
of a small number of jobs in the United States, the company said.
Botox is Allergan's biggest-selling product, with annual sales of
more than $2 billion and little serious competition.
The drug is primarily used cosmetically via injections to erase
wrinkles on the forehead. It has also been approved for several
medical uses such as to treat overactive bladder, migraine
headaches, upper limb spasticity and severe underarm sweating.
[to top of second column]
J&J declined to say whether it would take a charge associated
with halting the anti-wrinkle drug development. The company is
expected to report first quarter financial results next week.
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot)
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