Inhaled insulin available in US
An inhaled insulin has gone on sale in America this month.
Afrezza, developed by MannKind and licensed to pharmaceutical company Sanofi, is available in the US market for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes on prescription as a bolus insulin.
The drug is not yet approved for children, people with chronic lung conditions or people outside the US.
This delivery option may help change the dialogue between healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes about initiating or intensifying insulin therapy
Dr Janet McGill, Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Afrezza clinical trial investigator, said: “Many people living with diabetes are not able to control their blood sugar on their current medications and may benefit from using insulin. Now they have another option to administer insulin that is not an injection.
“This delivery option may help change the dialogue between healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes about initiating or intensifying insulin therapy.”
Afrezza is a drug-device combination product that consists of a dry formulation of human insulin delivered from a small and portable inhaler to help patients achieve blood sugar control. Afrezza is rapidly absorbed and has a short duration of action. It is administered at the beginning of a meal.
It can help control high blood sugar as part of a diabetes management plan that may include diet, exercise and other diabetes medications. Afrezza should not be used in people with chronic lung disease, including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Afrezza cannot be used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis. Afrezza is not recommended in patients who smoke or who have recently stopped smoking.
Pierre Chancel, Senior Vice President Diabetes Division, Sanofi, said: “Afrezza is an important addition to Sanofi’s growing diabetes portfolio of integrated, personalized offerings, and it is one that highlights our dedication to bringing innovative therapies to people with this disease.
“There is a recognized need for an insulin that doesn’t require an injection, and our organization is committed to making this new treatment option available to patients.”
Alfred Mann, Executive Chairman, MannKind Corporation, said: “We are extremely proud to see the many years of work that went into developing Afrezza culminate in the day when it is now available to help people manage their diabetes.”