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Botox developer rues missing out on billions

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Botox developer Alan Scott says he rues the day he handed over rights to the best-selling wrinkle-smoothing drug to a US company for just $4.5 million, saying he might have become a billionaire.

Botox has become a front-line weapon in cosmetic medicine for erasing wrinkles — while therapeutic applications of the drug are being used to help a wide variety of disorders from swallowing problems to muscle spasms.

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“If I knew (how big it would become), I would have never given it to the drug company Allergan in 1991,” Dr Alan Scott told the Times of India in an interview published on Monday.

“At present Botox is being used for over 100 disorders besides aesthetic applications,” Scott said in New Delhi where he was en route to a conference in southern India.

The San Francisco opthalmologist said he got around $4.5 million for handing over the rights to the drug to the California-based company Allergan which “was then a satisfactory deal.”

“But if I had held on to Botox, maybe I could have made a billion dollars a year now,” Scott said.

Botox, which makes muscles relax, is a purified form of a nerve poison produced by a bacteria that causes a disease that paralyses muscles and can be fatal.

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Botox was first approved in 1989 to treat two eye muscle disorders — uncontrollable blinking and misaligned eyes.

“Initially when I developed it, I knew it could do wonders for neurological disorders. However, I had absolutely no idea it could work so well as a cosmetic agent,” said Scott, who initially called the drug Oculinum.

The big cosmetic breakthrough came when Canadian ophthalmologist Dr. Jean Carruthers noticed her patients were starting to lose their frown lines and published a study in 1992.

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A decade later Botox was approved as a frown fixer by the US Food and Drug Administration and now it is used in 80 countries.

Does Scott worry about any side-effects from the widespread use of Botox?

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“It is not clear what will happen after decades of use. Maybe the facial muscles will weaken and sag. But we know that it works in reducing facial wrinkles,” he said.

“Most women don’t care what will happen years later. They just want the wrinkles to disappear now.”


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75 years ago: When atomic scientist Leo Szilard tried to halt dropping bombs over Japan

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As this troubled summer rolls along, and the world begins to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation, and use, of the first atomic bombs, many special, or especially tragic, days will draw special attention.  They will include July 16 (first test of the weapon in New Mexico), August 6 (bomb dropped over Hiroshima) and August 9 (over Nagasaki).   Surely far fewer in the media and elsewhere will mark another key date:  July 3.

On July 3, 1945, the great atomic scientist Leo Szilard finished a letter/petition that would become the strongest (virtually the only) real attempt at halting President Truman's march to using the atomic bomb--still almost two weeks from its first test at Trinity--against Japanese cities.

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‘Insane’: Park ranger shoots unarmed man through his heart and then handcuffs his dead body

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A ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park tased and then fatally shot a man during a New Mexico traffic stop and then handcuffed his lifeless body.

Charles "Gage" Lorentz was traveling March 21 from his work site in Pecos, Texas, to his family's home in southwest Colorado when he detoured at the national park to meet a friend, and that's where he encountered National Park Ranger Robert Mitchell, reported KOB-TV.

The ranger stopped the 25-year-old Lorentz for speeding on a dirt road near the park's Rattlesnake Springs area, and Mitchell's lapel video shows him ordering Lorentz to spread his feet and move closer to a railing.

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Former Trump administration official refers to a renowned Black scholar as ‘some criminal’

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President Donald Trump's former Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to renowned Black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. as "some criminal" in an interview with The New York Times Magazine.

Sessions, one of Trump's earliest supporters who was later fired after years of attacks from the president, is currently attempting to reclaim his old Senate seat in Alabama. Sessions has desperately tried to tout his Trumpist credentials on the campaign trail, even as the president has waged a campaign aimed at sabotaging his primary bid.

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