Types of Botulinum Toxins

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Did you know there are 7 different types of botulinum toxin but only 2 that are actively being used.  The 7 are A, B, C, D, E, F and G.  Of these only A and B are actively being used; however, within the A category there are 3 that are being commercially used.  They are, in alphabetical order, Botox (from Allergan Pharma), Dysport (from Ipsen Pharma) and Xeomin (from Merz Pharma).  The B type is called myobloc (from US World Meds). On the horizon is another form of A toxin called Puretox, a product of Mentor Corporation, division now of Johnson and Johnson. It, as the name implies, is another form of pure toxin.  Originally thought to be released for use in 2012 it is not known at this time when it will be approved.

There is a 3rd type of toxin that was used briefly and was highly thought of in its beginning, especially when antibodies were a big scare.  That was F.  However, its strength lasted for only a few weeks or so and the antibody issue has calmed down considerably since then.

Why was type A considered and eventually picked to be the main one to use?  According to the man who developed it, Dr Edward Schantz, it was because it possessed the most toxcicity, thus making it the most potent.

When originally developed, it was a team effort consisting of two men – Dr Alan Scott, opthamologist from California, and as mentioned, Dr Edward Schantz.  Dr Scott had been working with children who had a form of dystonia called strabismus (cross eyes) and had become interested in botulinum toxin as a treatment.  Between  the two of them they refined the botulinum and eventually gained the approval of the FDA for treating both Strabismus and Blepharospasm.  It was originally named Oculinum and, then, after selling the rights to Allergan Pharmaceutical, was changed to Botox.

It, a few short years after its initial approval, was approved by the FDA for Spasmodic Torticollis/Cervical Dystonia.

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