MannKind ups Afrezza production but Sanofi says sales are modest

By Fiona BARRY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Inhalable insulin drug Alfrezza is increasing its dosage forms. (Image: Applied Nomadology/Flickr)
Inhalable insulin drug Alfrezza is increasing its dosage forms. (Image: Applied Nomadology/Flickr)

Related tags: Manufacturing, Chief financial officer, Inhalable insulin, Sanofi

MannKind has announced it has opened two extra production lines for inhalable insulin powder Afrezza, its joint venture with Sanofi.

The validated lines manufacture recently approved 12-unit cartridges, which will go towards a new dosage strength expected to launch in coming months.

"With the completion of the validation effort, which began last quarter, we can support a demand of more than 300 million cartridges per year,​" said MannKind CEO Hakan Edstrom.

But sales of Afrezza are underwhelming, judging by comments made by Sanofi in its quarterly earnings call last week.​ The drug brought home a modest €3m ($3.3m) to Sanofi since its launch in February.

The JV draws on MannKind’s drug delivery formulation and device, using fumaryl diketopiperazine (FDKP) to increase the solubility of insulin and render it inhalable.

Uptake has been slow; MannKind is planning a second marketing push aimed at consumers. Chief Financial officer Matthew Pfeffer told in-Pharmatechnologist.com in May​ the slow start was due to prescribing delays and not a lack of demand.

MannKind manufactures Afrezza in Denver, Colorado, and Danbury, Connecticut.

Related topics: Drug Delivery

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