- New data from a head to head trial showed that patients treated with Novo Nordisk's Tresiba had a significantly lower rate of hypoglygemic events compared to patients treated with Sanofi's Lantus.
- In this study, known as SWITCH, Tresiba (insulin degludec injection) cut the overall number of hypoglycemic events by 30%, compared to Lantus. Additionally, Tresiba demonstrated a lower rate of nocturnal hypoglycemic events.
- Despite the positive clinical trial results, experts are still attempting to determine whether these outcomes are clinically relevant.
Sanofi's Lantus has dominated the long-acting insulin market, notching $7 billion in sales last year. However, Novo Nordisk's Tresiba won approval in the U.S. last fall, making it the first new FDA-approved basal insulin molecule in 10 years. Tresiba enters the market with positive efficacy data and a favorable safety data, although post-marketing trials to assess cardiovascular safety are continuing.
Additionally, Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim settled a patent dispute with Sanofi to bring their follow-on insulin Basaglar, which is a copy of Lantus, to the market. The FDA approved Basaglar late last year.
With Basaglar and Tresiba challenging Lantus, the long-lasting insulin market may shift dramatically. For its part, Sanofi has pushed forward with its Lantus-heir Toujeo, which was approved by the FDA in February 2015.
Investment management firm Bernstein is predicting $1.7 billion in annual sales for Tresiba by 2020, according to FiercePharma Marketing.