The first and only inhalable insulin for diabetics has been launched after a joint development from Sanofi and MannKind Corp.
Afrezza Inhalation Powder
The Afrezza Inhalation Powder was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2014 for controlling high blood sugar in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Afrezza is a drug-device combination product which uses a small and portable inhaler to deliver a dry formulation of human insulin. The insulin is administered before a meal and absorbed rapidly due to its short duration of action.
This is to help patients achieve better control of blood sugar levels, but used as a part of a consistent diabetes management plan, which includes regulations for exercise and diet.
Afrezza will be the only inhalable insulin on the market in the United States, which is now available for prescription in retail pharmacies across the country.
As part of their collaboration agreement with MannKind, Sanofi are now responsible for global commercial developments, with industry analysts Thomson Reuters Cortellis expecting Afrezza to generate sales of $182 million a year by 2019.
Who cannot use Afrezza?
Patients with chronic lung disease such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should not use Afrezza. It is also not recommended for smokers or recent ex-smokers.
Sanofi also advised that Afrezza should not be used as a substitute for long-acting insulin, but as an accompanying insulin for patients with type 1 diabetes.
“There is a recognized need for an insulin that doesn’t require an injectio, and our organization is committed to making this new treatment option available to patients,” said Sanofi senior vice president of the diabetes division, Pierre Chancel.

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