Since 2002, when Botox was approved as a wrinkle-fighter, batches of the drug have been tested by using it to kill laboratory mice.

In this potency test, a batch of Botox would pass inspection if 50% of a group of mice died after being injected with the drug, which contains a dilute form of the toxin that causes botulism.

Tens of thousands of laboratory mice will no longer face that fate, because Botox maker Allergan has developed a method to test the effect of Botox on cells in a lab dish. The FDA approved the test last month.

Irvine-based Allergan said it spent $65 million on more than a decade of research that led to the new test. Botox sales total $1.3 billion a year.

The Humane Society of the United States hailed the news and urged Allergan to help competitors that make similar drugs to implement similar tests.


[Source: In Your Face/Orange County Register]