Drug makers Sanofi and MannKind Corporation on Monday entered into a global licensing deal for the development and commercialization of world’s only available inhaled insulin Afrezza to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults.
Afrezza, an insulin inhalation powder that rapidly act in the diabetics, has recently won regulatory approval in the US. According to the insiders, Afrezza is likely to be launched in the United States in the first quarter of 2015.
Under the new exclusive agreement, Sanofi will pay MannKind Corp. as much as USD 925 million for global rights to the drug. USD 150 million will be paid up front and as much as USD 775 million will be given to MannKind Corp. after drug Afrezza meets certain sales and development targets.
According to a statement released by both the companies on Monday, Paris-based Sanofi will enjoy 65 percent share of profit or loss from the new drug and will also advance MannKind as much as USD 175 million in expenses.
“It is not going to be in competition with existing products, it’s going to be a nice complement and upgrade to our portfolio,” said Pierre Chancel, senior vice president of Sanofi’s diabetes division.
He further added, “The inhaled product will be marketed to patients struggling to start insulin because of the injections.”
This is second diabetes-related agreement for Sanofi in two months. Earlier in June, it struck a deal with Medtronic Inc. on devices to simplify insulin use.
Afrezza got the approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in June this year. The federal body had earlier rejected the drug on two occasions.
An estimated 29.1 million Americans suffer from diabetes. The disease can lead to heart problems, nerve and kidney damage and even blindness.