August 12, 2019 / 12:04 PM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Evolus reports sales of its Botox rival ahead of expectations

(Adds estimates, shares)

By Tamara Mathias

Aug 12 (Reuters) - Medical aesthetics company Evolus Inc on Monday beat Wall Street estimates for second-quarter revenue from its newly launched rival to Allergan Plc's Botox, which has dominated the medical aesthetics market for more than a decade.

Jeuveau, a neurotoxin drug to treat forehead wrinkles, brought in sales of $2.3 million since its May 15 launch, beating the average analyst estimate of $450,000, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

"We did not anticipate revenue coming in the second quarter in a meaningful way," Chief Executive Officer David Moatazedi told Reuters in an interview.

Evolus, whose shares rose 1.6% in premarket trading, expects to achieve the number two market position in the next 24 months.

The company has rolled out a marketing program called Jeuveau Experience Treatment (J.E.T) that ties up with medical aesthetics clinics to provide new customers with up to three shipments of the treatment for free.

Evolus said over 5,000 accounts had enrolled in the program in the first 90 days of its launch, exceeding its own expectation of 3,000. Evolus said some accounts comprised entire chains of medical clinics, so the number of doctors that had tried the product was likely higher than 5,000.

The majority of sales recorded came from early adopters that had completed the J.E.T program, Moatazedi said.

Three-quarters of patients had switched over from rival therapies and the rest that tried the drug had never used a neurotoxin before, a testament to the growing market, he added.

Over the years Allergan's Botox has evolved from a cosmetic injection to a treatment for migraines and bladder dysfunction. Sales of the drug rose 4.2% to $974 million in the latest quarter, but missed consensus estimates of $992.3 million.

The treatment will likely have a new owner next year, as AbbVie Inc in June announced a $63 billion deal to buy Allergan.

Moatazedi said Evolus had no plans to expand Jeuveau's label beyond treating frown lines, or to explore its medical use.

Evolus net loss widened to $37.57 million, or $1.37 per share, in the three months ended June 30 as operating expenses more than doubled with the hiring of a sales force to launch Jeuveau in the United States and expenditure on marketing efforts. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Anil D'Silva)

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