Public Release: 

LSU Health New Orleans technology part of $90 million pharma deal

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

New Orleans, LA - A technology invented by faculty at LSU Health New Orleans is part of an acquisition deal by Allergan plc, a global pharmaceutical company. Allergan acquired Anterios, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company, which licensed an LSU Health-patented technology in 2008 and in which LSU Health New Orleans held equity. In consideration for the license, LSU Health New Orleans received a mix of equity and royalties, and may potentially receive milestone payments. The technology, created by Drs. Ann Tilton, Dana Suskind and Mary Caire at LSU Health New Orleans, is for the use of topical botulinum toxin to treat or prevent acne.

Allergan makes one of the best-known brands of botulinum toxin, BOTOX® and BOTOX® Cosmetic, and Anterios has been developing a next-generation delivery system and botulinum toxin-based prescription products.

The deal for Anterios provides that Allergan, which last year agreed to merge with Pfizer Inc. creating the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world, will pay Anterios $90 million up front plus potential development and commercial milestone payments. As a former equity holder in Anterios, LSU Health New Orleans will receive a pro rata share of the upfront consideration in the Anterios transaction, plus a pro rata share of any of the contingent consideration if and when the milestones are reached.

"This acquisition marks the first time LSU Health New Orleans has ever received financial consideration for our equity holdings," notes Chancellor Dr. Larry Hollier. "It also illustrates the value of the innovative research conducted by the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise."

In connection with the acquisition, a new company, Eirion Therapeutics, has been spun out to the former Anterios shareholders, and LSU Health New Orleans has received stock in the new company.

"It has been very exciting to see how the idea that grew out of our clinical experience with the use of botulinum toxin has evolved from a clinical hypothesis to pilot studies to the potential development of a product to help patients," says principal investigator Dr. Ann Tilton, LSU Health New Orleans Professor of Clinical Neurology and Chief of the Section of Child Neurology. "Its acquisition by this pharmaceutical giant will now enable even more patients to benefit from it."

The LSU Health New Orleans technology involves the application of all types of botulinum toxin, whether injected or applied directly to the skin, for the treatment and prevention of acne. It is thought to do this in part by inhibiting sweat gland production and decreasing perspiration to prevent plugged pores and hair follicles. One advantage of this technology is that it has a novel mechanism of action in an area of high unmet need.

"The acquisition of Anterios by Allergan further validates the model of universities working with small companies to commercialize inventions," said Patrick E. Reed, MS, RTTP, Director of the LSU Health New Orleans Office of Technology Management. "Anterios was an excellent commercialization partner and worked diligently to bring our clinicians' discovery into development. I look forward to Allergan continuing to take our invention through the clinical development and regulatory process and eventual commercialization for public benefit."

According to the National Institutes of Health, acne is a disorder resulting from the action of hormones and other substances on the skin's oil glands (sebaceous glands) and hair follicles. These factors lead to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly called pimples or zits. Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Although acne is usually not a serious health threat, it can be a source of significant emotional distress. Severe acne can lead to permanent scarring. An estimated 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point. For most people, acne tends to go away by the time they reach their thirties; however, some people in their forties and fifties continue to have this skin problem.

"Although many of our technology disclosures result from the basic research arm of the University, it's important to realize that our clinicians are also responsible for innovation," Reed says. "As they work to provide solutions to patients' problems, they often develop new and useful technologies. The Office of Technology Management has redoubled its efforts to work with LSU Health New Orleans clinicians to identify other useful and marketable technologies ripe for commercial licensing."

Some of the funds realized will be reinvested in the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise.


LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit, or

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