GROWTH PLAN: Allergan Inc. plans to begin seeking in the late third quarter U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a drug containing bimatoprost, an ingredient said to grow and thicken eyelashes. Prostaglandins, compounds that include bimatoprost, have been the subject of controversy because they crossed from drug counters to the cosmetic aisles in 2005, when Jan Marini Skin Research began distributing a prostaglandin-driven eyelash conditioner. Allergan has since aggressively protected its eyelash turf and filed a patent infringement lawsuit last year against seven companies that allegedly distributed products with prostaglandins. The same year, the FDA entered into the prostaglandin debate by confiscating Jan Marini products it determined were being promoted with medical claims and were “unapproved and misbranded” drugs.
– TRADING SPACES: A group of lawmakers led by Rep. Mike Michaud (D., Maine) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) introduced a trade bill in the House and Senate on Wednesday that would require a review and renegotiation of existing trade agreements where warranted, establish criteria for future pacts, overhaul the president’s trade promotion authority and give Congress a stronger role in shaping policy. The Trade Reform, Accountability, Development & Employment Act was introduced a day after Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) became the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate. Obama has expressed skepticism about trade, saying he would seek to amend the North American Free Trade Agreement, add stronger labor and environmental provision in trade pacts and take a tougher stance against imports from China. While the bill sponsors acknowledged it isn’t likely to move through Congress this year, they said it could lay the framework for a new trade policy if Obama wins in November.