Botox inventor lost out on fortune after failing to patent it

Melbourne: Botox inventor failed to make a fortune out of her wrinkle-reducing miracle because she and her husband could not patent the anti-ageing procedure they discovered in Canada, revealed British media.

Former eye doctor Dr Jean Carruthers` eureka moment came in 1987 when she spotted that the injections she used to stop eye spasms also smoothed facial lines.

Then, her British-born husband Dr Alastair Carruthers tested the toxin on the couple``s receptionist, reported the Sunday Mirror.

"She had remarkable frown lines and said, ``Oh sure, treat me.``

"We had only to see her to say, ``Oh, this does work.`` You could see a huge difference," quoted Jean Carruthers, 61, as saying.

Four years later, the couple wrote a paper on their findings - and Botox is now the world``s most popular cosmetic procedure.

But the Carruthers, who run a cosmetic surgery clinic in Vancouver, Canada, never patented their work and missed out on fame, fortune and the thanks of younger-looking people worldwide.

"It has changed so many lives, including my own...I missed out on that [the fortune], but we have had the most enriching experience using it on patients over the years. Women feel so much better about themselves when they look good," she said.