Volume 10 - Issue 6 - June 2002

B otulinum toxin has come a long way since 1895 when the microbe Clostridium botulinum was first isolated by Professor Emile van Ermengem after nearly 3 dozen people in Belgium fell ill, three of whom died, after eating raw, salted ham. Attempts to purify the toxin, which is released from the intact bacterium in culture, began in 1920. By 1946, type A toxin — the type used in Allergan’s recently approved Botox Cosmetic — was purified in crystalline form. It wasn’t until 1978 that the pioneer Dr. Alan Scott began clinical experiments on humans with the purified form of the toxin. And, he f