Sanofi, MannKind launch inhaled insulin Afrezza in US

Sanofi and MannKind announced Tuesday the US launch of Afrezza, making the product, which is indicated to control high blood sugar in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the only inhaled insulin available in the country. Pierre Chancel, senior vice president of Sanofi's diabetes division, remarked "there is a recognised need for an insulin that doesn't require an injection, and our organisation is committed to making this new treatment option available to patients."

Afrezza was approved by the FDA in July last year, with Sanofi later licensing rights from MannKind to market the product. Afrezza consists of a dry formulation of human insulin delivered via an inhaler to help patients achieve blood sugar control. The product is priced at $7.54 for a daily dose of 12 units, which is higher than the $3.14 cost of Sanofi's injectable equivalent Apidra. Analysts predict that Afrezza will generate annual sales of about $182 million by 2019.

For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Is MannKind's challenging route to market for inhaled insulin set to continue? and Physician Views Poll Results – In for the long haul; post-marketing safety data will be key to driving uptake of inhaled insulin.

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