A topical form of botulinum toxin is in development by a California company called Revance Therapeutics, in which Medicis Aesthetics, the company behind fillers Restylane and Perlane, is a major investor. The formula, which would be applied in doctors’ offices, contains an active toxin molecule that folds in half—making it small enough to penetrate skin—and then unfolds and exerts its effects once it hits the muscle under the dermis. Though approval of a final product is several years off, the “folding technology” may also prove useful in other areas. “It could work for the delivery of various other drugs to treat skin diseases or restore appearance,” says Medicis chairman Jonah Shacknai.
Photo: Robert Mitra