A federal court judge in California has ruled that Merz Aesthetics violated the state's Uniform Trade Secrets Act by using proprietary information including marketing plans, sales projections and customer information belonging to Allergan, Inc.The injunction, handed down March 9 by Andrew Guilford, U.S. District Court judge for the Central District of California, bars Merz from selling or soliciting to sell the injectable Xeomin® for 10 months. Guilford wrote that the injunction was partially in response to Merz's improper use of Allergan's plans "to address competition" from Merz.
Merz reportedly was preparing to unveil Xeomin, a toxin similar to Botox, at an upcoming meeting of a national medical society. Merz CEO William Humphries is quick to note the California ruling is about business practices - not pharmaceuticals or any processes within.
The Wall Street Journal reported on March 12 that Merz, which began selling Xeomin for cosmetic use in the United States last November, had gained an 8 percent share of the domestic market for botulinum toxins by December.