Eli Lilly won't be able to sell its Lantus copycat--dubbed Basaglar--for at least 30 months because of a patent fight with Sanofi.
Eli Lilly has won a "tentative" FDA approval for its knockoff of Sanofi's Lantus, but don't look for it at a pharmacy anytime soon. The insulin glargine injection--to be marketed as Basaglar eventually in the U.S.--faces an automatic 30-month stay after Sanofi filed a suit against Lilly and its partner Boehringer Ingelheim claiming patent infringement.
Best-selling drugs did well for themselves in 2013, churning out more than $76 billion in sales. But big-name brands could stand the test of time and help the top 10 rake in more than $80 billion in 2020, according to a new report.
Sanofi has already slapped Eli Lilly with one patent infringement lawsuit over its Lantus copy, effectively keeping the competitor off the market until at least mid-2016. But now, it's filed another, wider suit.
Sanofi has filed another lawsuit against Eli Lilly in hopes of beating back a biosimilar challenge for its top-selling insulin product, claiming its rival's in-development knockoff infringes its intellectual property.
Lantus' days are numbered as it faces threats from multiple competitors plotting avenues of attack. Sanofi is not going to just roll over for competitors, so what is its most likely counterattack? Maybe a fire sale for Lantus and diabetes products.
Sanofi's Lantus is not only the best-selling diabetes drug in the world; it is one of the best selling drugs in the world with $7.6 billion in 2013 revenues. But the foundation for this juggernaut is starting to crack. The EU Friday recommended approval a biosimilar of Lantus developed by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim.
On this list of the best-selling diabetes drugs, you will find a mix of the old and new. According to data from EvaluatePharma, one of the big dogs of big pharma data, these top 10 drugs had more than $28 billion in sales last year. All of them, even number 10, were blockbusters.
Across three Phase III trials, Sanofi's in-development replacement for Lantus was better at battling low blood sugar than the company's cash cow insulin product, providing hope for the drugmaker's diabetes business when its blockbuster goes off patent next year.
Sanofi has formed an alliance with medical device titan Medtronic to develop combo therapies that can improve patient adherence and simplify insulin treatment for the world's roughly 350 million sufferers of Type 2 diabetes.