Afrezza Launch Waits On Marketing Partner; MannKind Ramps Up Production
Production of insulin powder inhaler cartridges at Connecticut facility will triple to 400 million a year by launch, which firm expects in 2015.
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Sanofi announced the launch of the inhaled insulin in the U.S. Feb. 3, priced at a wholesale acquisition cost that is higher than rival injectable mealtime insulins.
In a pair of diabetes-related transaction, Sanofi pays $175 million upfront to MannKind for worldwide license to inhaled insulin Afrezza, while Janssen options Phase I stem cell program from ViaCyte. Novartis gets purchase option for stem-cell biotech Gamida Cell and MorphoSys in-licenses a preclinical prostate cancer antibody candidate from Emergent BioSolutions.
Sanofi appears to be an ideal match to sell MannKind’s inhaled insulin Afrezza, but the terms of the exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for the product reflect its high-risk nature.