Judge Blocks Launch of Xeomin for Aesthetic Indications

March 7, 2012

The planned March 12 launch of Merz's Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA) for aesthetic indications will almost certainly be delayed due to a court order blocking marketing of incobotulinumtoxinA. The order comes in response to a suit by Allergan , alleging that its trade secrets related to Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) were stolen. As reported by Bloomberg , the bench ruling was handed down yesterday in US District Court in Santa Ana, CA, with the judge indicating that he would release his final findings and conclusions on March 9, at which time the length and terms of the injunction will be released. Allergan filed suit in 2010 against Merz and former Allergan sales representatives hired by the company, alleging that Merz gained access to Allergan's trade secrets. Merz has maintained that any information it obtained was either not confidential or not a trade secret or was not used by the company. Allergan reportedly asked the court to delay the launch of Xeomin for aesthetic use by one year and bar sales of the drug to anyone who had been an Allergan customer. Bloomberg reports that lawyers for Merz indicate that they believe the ruling is intended to encourage a settlement between the parties and have suggested that a 12-month ban would put the Allergan competitor "out of business." Asked for comment by Practical Dermatology and DermWire, Dennis Condon, President and CEO of Merz Aesthetics, observed, "The federal court granted the request by Allergan for an injunction. The court invited submissions from the parties of proposed terms of the injunction, which will be formally issued on March 9, 2012." He added, "We await the exact details of the injunction which will be issued Friday, March 9." Allergan is pleased with the ruling, as Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Relations Heather Katt told DermWire and Practical Dermatology, "For more than 20 years, we have invested millions of dollars in the research, clinical development and marketing of BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA), and we are pleased that our intellectual property has been protected by yesterday's decision. We await the exact details of the injunction later this week."

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