Sanofi nabs rights to MannKind's inhaled insulin with $150 million deal
- French drug maker Sanofi will pay $150 million upfront for the rights to Valencia, CA-based MannKind's first-of-its-kind inhaled insulin product, Afrezza.
- If MannKind meets certain sales and development goals, Sanofi may wind up paying another $775 million. Profit and loss-sharing will be split by the companies 65%-35%, with Sanofi taking the lion's share. MannKind's stock closed up nearly 5% on Monday.
- Afrezza received FDA approval just over a month ago, at the end of June. This is the latest move by Sanofi to shore up the diabetes treatment market as it prepares for the expiration of its flagship insulin treatment Lantus' patent next year.
Considering the impending expiration of Lantus' patent protection, not to mention the sheer novelty of MannKind's product, this is a potentially blockbuster deal for Sanofi. Not only can Afrezza be taken nasally -- it works as a treatment for patients with either diabetes type.
According to Bloomberg, Sanofi diabetes division senior vice president Pierre Chancel told a conference call of analysts on Monday that Afrezza would "be a nice complement and upgrade to our portfolio,” and that it will be marketed to patient who are "struggling to start insulin because of the injections."
Sanofi also formed an open-innovation partnership with Medtronic in June with the goal of developing drug-device combinations for and providing care management services to diabetes patients.