Daxxify – What can the new Botox do?

Daxxify – A challenger for Botox?

Daxxify goes to market. Daxxify is a novel neuromodulator for cosmetic wrinkle treatment. Daxxify could become Botox’s first major competitor in decades, experts say. Why? Because Daxxify promises a significantly longer duration of action than previous Botox preparations. At least, that’s what the clinical studies indicate. The drug is not yet on the market, either in the USA or in Europe. However, it has already received approval in the USA, so the market launch is expected shortly. Once it is available, perhaps as early as 2023, Daxxify could become a real game-changer.

In the following post, I take a closer look at Daxxify. These are the topics:

  • Botox: the most popular non-invasive treatment
  • Daxxify – available as early as 2023?
  • How does Daxxify work?
  • What will Daxxify cost?

Botox: The most popular non-invasive treatment

6 million Botox applications annually

For more than 20 years, Botox has been the treatment of choice for wrinkle reduction. Millions of people use it regularly. Today, it is still the most frequently performed non-invasive treatment in aesthetic medicine: according to industry estimates, it is injected more than 6 million times a year, 400,000 of them in Germany. Whether wrinkles on the forehead, crow’s feet around the eyes or an excessively pronounced frown line between the brows: Botox works quickly and reliably and gives a visibly fresher appearance. At a cost of a few hundred euros per treatment, it also offers great benefits at a relatively low price.

Vistabel, Dysport, Azzalure, Jeuveau

The original Botox from manufacturer Allergan, now marketed for cosmetic purposes under the name “Vistabel,” has largely retained its unique selling proposition. Although there are some competitors, such as Dysport, Azzalure, Bocouture and Jeuveau, none of these preparations has yet been able to match the popularity of Botox. The latter Jeuveau, which launched in the U.S. three years ago to great fanfare, has yet to even make it to market in Europe. And the latest development of Azzalure, a liquid drug called Alluzience, focuses more on a more effective way for doctors to use it than on any real added benefit for patients.

Daxxify – available as early as 2023?

Daxxify: Already approved in the U.S. for the treatment of glabella

If industry experts are to be believed, that could change with the upcoming launch of Daxxify. Daxxify, officially known as “Daxibotulinumtoxin A,” was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of the frown line (glabella) and boasts one key feature: a significantly longer duration of action than conventional Botox preparations. While this is usually 4-6 months, Daxxify promises its wrinkle-smoothing effect for a full 9 months.

Daxxify promises significantly longer duration of action

The advantage for the patient is thus obvious: instead of having to undergo the procedure two – or three times a year, Daxxify would ideally extend the treatment interval to twice that. Two treatments in 18 months instead of three in 12: that’s convincing, even if you don’t have a phobia of hypodermic needles. Not to mention the potential cost savings.

9 months duration of action in 10% of patients

In phase III clinical trials, the manufacturer of Daxxify, the US pharmaceutical company Revance Therapeutics, tested the active ingredient on around 2700 patients in the treatment of glabella (frown lines). In 98% of the subjects, a significant improvement in the appearance of wrinkles was observed within four weeks of treatment. In 90% this was already the case after the first week. The effect usually set in within two days of treatment and lasted for an average of six months. In around 10% of patients, the results were still visible nine months later.

Side effect profile of Daxxify comparable to current preparations

Side effects of Daxxify injection occurred in approximately one in five subjects. The most common side effects were headache, injection site pain, erythema and edema at the injection site, and drooping eyelids (ptosis). The type and frequency of side effects are thus roughly on a par with conventional Botox preparations. In addition, it is interesting to note that none of the subjects developed neutralizing antibodies against Daxxify, although it was administered in up to 3 consecutive treatments. This is also consistent with previous findings on the various botulinum preparations. And gives reason to believe that even with Daxxify, lack of efficacy due to resistance is to be expected only in very rare cases.

Micro-Botox Munich, Dr. med. Eva Maria Strobl

How does Daxxify work?

Daxxify inhibits the transmission of stimuli from the nerve to the muscle

Like conventional Botox products, Daxxify is an acetylcholine inhibitor. Once injected, it inhibits stimulus transmission between the nerve and muscle by preventing the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The wrinkle-forming muscles are thus inhibited in their contraction. They relax, which visibly improves the appearance of wrinkles in the overlying skin. In the application currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of frown lines, this mainly affects the corrugator and procerus muscles, which together are responsible for the formation of frown lines.

Daxxify does not contain human or animal protein.

Unlike conventional Botox preparations, Daxxify does not contain human or animal proteins derived from blood (albumins) to stabilize the neurotoxin. Instead, Daxxify uses a peptide, a small protein building block composed of a concatenation of several amino acids. This specially designed peptide, called RTP004, is believed to help deliver the botulinum toxin to nerve cells. Research suggests that the RTP004 binds the toxin to the nerves near the injection site, possibly causing the prolonged effect. According to manufacturer Revance, the elimination of human and animal blood components is the real innovation in the production of neurotoxin preparations for wrinkle treatment. The peptide technology is proprietary, so other manufacturers cannot easily copy it and adapt it to their own Botox preparations.

Can wrinkles other than glabella be treated with Daxxify?

Currently, the drug has approval in the U.S. only for the treatment of frown lines. However, presentations by the manufacturer Revance indicate that approval for other cosmetic applications, and possibly later also for non-cosmetic therapies, such as in neurology, is definitely intended. In this respect, Daxxify would follow a similar career path as the original Botox, whose cosmetic application was also limited for some years to the treatment of the glabella. Officially, at least, because unofficially, in “off-label use,” all kinds of mimic wrinkles were treated by doctors all over the world, long before the expanded approval for it was granted. So, if Daxxify proves itself in the treatment of the glabella and proves to be safe, then practitioners will foreseeably use it quite quickly in off-label use in other cosmetic applications as well.

What are the contraindications of Daxxify?

According to the U.S. package insert, the contraindications of Daxxify are the same as for conventional Botox preparations. Intolerance to the ingredients, the presence of certain neurological disorders, and concurrent medications with a number of active ingredients are the main reasons for exclusion. In addition, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What will the new Daxxify cost?

Prices for the new Daxxify have not yet been announced. If the longer duration of action is confirmed in practice, it can be assumed that manufacturer Revance will want to pay for it. However, recent experience with Botox challenger Jeuveau has shown that without price advantages, it is difficult for new suppliers to succeed against the market leader Allergan and its classic.
In this respect, there is the prospect that Daxxify patients may end up saving money by having to have booster treatments less often.