Scientists work on cheaper Botox formula

La Jolla: Scientists have discovered a way to increase the potency of botulinum neurotoxin – the “poison” originally used for medical conditions that has become the world’s most popular wrinkle buster.

Patented for cosmetic use as Botox, botulinum neurotoxin is one of nature’s most dangerous substances and works by paralysing a neurotransmitter in muscles. It was first developed for medical use to prevent uncontrollable muscle spasms, twitches and excessive sweating.

Scientists at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, California have discovered that by adding a synthetic molecule they can increase its potency by up to 14 times. This means that cosmetic surgeons, for example, could given patients lower doses, thereby increasing its safety and also helping to prevent any complications in people with immune system reactions. It may also may treatments cheaper.

The study is published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society and says that a commercial product is still some years down the line as it has not yet been tested on animals or humans. The new treatment has not yet been tested in humans or animals.