AbobotulinumtoxinA: A 25-Year History

Aesthet Surg J. 2017 May 1;37(suppl_1):S4-S11. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjw284.


During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Alan Scott showed that intramuscular injections of botulinum toxin (BoNT) corrected nonaccommodative strabismus without resorting to surgery. The UK doctors who trained with Scott soon realized the significant potential offered by BoNT type A as a therapeutic option for several difficult-to-treat diseases. This led to a collaboration between these pioneering clinicians and the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research at Porton Down, United Kingdom, and, in turn, to the development and commercialization of abobotulinumtoxinA as Dysport (Dystonia/Porton Down; Ipsen Biopharm Ltd., Wrexham, UK). Dysport was approved in Europe for the treatment of specific dystonias in December 1990 and now has marketing authorizations in 75 countries. Since then, the use of BoNT in therapeutic and aesthetic indications has grown year-on-year, and continues to expand well beyond Scott's initial aim. For example, ongoing trials are assessing potential new indications for BoNT-A, including acne and psoriasis. Furthermore, a growing number of other BoNT products, often termed "biosimilars," together with innovative formulations of well-established BoNT types, are likely to reach the market over the next few years. This review focuses on the history of Dysport to mark the 25th anniversary of its first launch in the United Kingdom.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals / administration & dosage
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals / therapeutic use
  • Blepharospasm / drug therapy
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / administration & dosage
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Clostridium botulinum / metabolism
  • Cosmetic Techniques / trends*
  • Facial Muscles / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / drug therapy
  • Injections, Intramuscular / methods
  • Neuromuscular Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Strabismus / drug therapy
  • United Kingdom


  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals
  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A
  • abobotulinumtoxinA
  • incobotulinumtoxinA