NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Allergan blazed a trail when its wrinkle fighting treatment Botox opened up the facial aesthetics market. Now Kythera (KYTH) is attempting to follow that path with its double chin drug Kybella.
"In the long term we hope it is a lot like Botox because we think there are a lot of potential uses for this product and we see a huge patient demand for it," says Keith Leonard, CEO of Kythera.
Demand for Kythera's stock has also been high as the market anticipates the second half rollout of Kybella. Shares of the Westlake Village, CA-based biotech company are up nearly 40% in 2015. Kybella is Kythera's lead product, which it is billing as the only FDA-approved injectable drug for improvement in the appearance of "moderate to severe convexity or fullness associated with submental fat," otherwise known as a double chin, in adults.
Leonard's launch team is full of veterans from Allergan, which was purchased for $66 billion by Actavis (ACT) last year, and Amgen (AMGN), where he served as general manager of Europe. He says the pair are "logical sources" of talent since they are both located in Southern California and are well known in the growing facial aesthetics business.
Nevertheless, while demand for both Kybella and Kythera's stock are running hot, Leonard very much wants a cool, measured launch this summer to ensure long-term success.