Sanofi’s latest insulin U300 shows promise by reducing night time hypos by 23% in clinical trials.
U300 is the current name for the latest insulin being developed by Sanofi. The insulin is currently in phase 3 clinical trials and is therefore yet to be approved to be marketed. When approved, U300 is likely to carry a different brand name.
The study involved 811 participants with type 2 diabetes who were already being treated with long acting insulin. The new U300 insulin was then compared with Lantus, Sanofi’s current long term analogue insulin.
Sanofi are keen to gain approval for the new insulin as their patent on Lantus is due to expire in 2015. Financial analysts estimate that U300 could be worth up to $1 billion by 2018.
Pharmaceutical companies are locked in a battle over insulin sales. Currently Sanofi’s insulin glargine (Lantus) is the most prescribed insulin. However, expiry of its patent in 2015 will mean that other insulin companies will be able to legally manufacture and sell identical versions of the drug which is expected to significantly reduce the cost of the long acting insulin.
Lower cost versions of big name drugs such as Lantus could significantly reduce the bill for insulin on the NHS. Companies such as Sanofi though will want the NHS to take advantage of new drugs like U300.
To be available on the NHS, however, the new insulin will need to prove itself to be cost effective in order to be recommended by NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence) and there may be restrictions on its use, if the insulin is significantly more expensive than
For patients with type 2 or type 1 diabetes, availability of new drugs such as U300, will provide more choice over which insulin you can receive. If you are having episodes of nocturnal hypoglycemia, the new insulin will be an attractive prospect.

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