Irish pharma Allergan is buying privately-held, clinical-stage US biotech Bonti for access to its novel, fast-acting neurotoxin programmes for aesthetic and therapeutic applications.

Under the move, Allergan will obtain global rights to Bonti's pipeline of two botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E) programmes currently in Phase II development, EB-001A (aesthetic) and EB-001T (therapeutic).

The active ingredient in both programs, EB-001, is a novel botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E) with a unique clinical profile, characterised by a rapid onset of action within 24 hours and a 2 to 4-week duration of effect, the firm noted.

Allergan will acquire Bonti for an upfront payment of $195 million plus additional potential commercial milestone payments, subject to certain adjustments and other customary closing conditions.

"The acquisition of Bonti is a strategic investment for the future of our Medical Aesthetics business and has the potential to enhance our best-in-class Medical Aesthetics pipeline," said Brent Saunders, Allergan’s chairman and chief executive.

"With the medical aesthetics market vastly expanding, a fast-acting neurotoxin with a 2 to 4-week duration will be an attractive option for consumers, particularly those who are considering a medical aesthetics treatment for the first time."

In the US there are currently around 65 million consumers considering facial injectable treatments, including some who may be interested in being treated with a faster acting shorter-duration product, the group noted, highlighting the potential size of the market.

Separately, Allergan said its Aesthetics business has the potential to double by 2025, driven by consumer trends, geographic expansion and innovation, and that it is expecting to launch one to two products per year over the next seven years across facial aesthetics, body contouring and plastic and regenerative medicine.