Exubera rights bought for $1.3 billion

Pfizer has reached an agreement to acquire the sanofi-aventis worldwide rights to inhaled human insulin, which Pfizer intends to market under the trade name Exubera. The two companies were previously in a worldwide alliance to co-develop, co-promote and co-manufacture Exubera.

According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 194 million people worldwide have diabetes, and it is estimated that the number of people with the disease will more than double by 2030. The direct healthcare costs may be as much as $286 billion worldwide.

For $1.3 billion, Pfizer will acquire the sanofi-aventis worldwide Exubera rights as well as the insulin production facilities located in Frankfurt, Germany, previously jointly owned by Pfizer and sanofi-aventis.

Exubera is a fast-acting dry powder formulation of human insulin. It is inhaled into the lungs via the mouth pre-meal through a hand-held inhalation device which does not require batteries or electricity.

Exubera is under regulatory review in the US and Europe for the treatment of adults with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Pfizer plans to make Exubera available to patients as soon as possible following regulatory approvals.