updated 12/26/2008 10:27:20 AM ET 2008-12-26T15:27:20

Cosmetic drugmaker Allergan Inc. said Friday its eyelash treatment Latisse received Food and Drug Administration approval.

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The drug treats the condition hypotrichosis of the eyelashes and is applied once-daily to increase thickness and fullness, the company said. The treatment has full results within 16 weeks, it said.

"Latisse fulfills a significant and previously unmet need in the medical aesthetic marketplace with a product approved by the FDA that increases the growth of eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker," said Dr. Scott Whitcup, Allergan's executive vice president of research and development, in a statement.

The drug's active ingredient, bimatoprost, was first approved in 2001 as a treatment to lower intraocular pressure in people with a type of glaucoma or hypertension within the eye.

Allergan expects to launch Latisse in the first quarter and forecasts peak annual sales exceeding $500 million.

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