The FDA has granted approval to Sanofi-Aventis U.S. for Admelog, a short-acting insulin product. Admelog is the first short-acting insulin approved as a “follow-on” product and was submitted through the agency’s 505(b)(2) abbreviated approval pathway. A new drug application submitted through this pathway may rely on the FDA’s finding that a previously approved drug is safe and effective or on published literature to support the safety and/or effectiveness of the proposed product, if such reliance is scientifically justified. The use of abbreviated pathways can reduce drug development costs so products can be offered at a lower price to patients.
In the case of Admelog, the manufacturer submitted a 505(b)(2) application that relied, in part, on the FDA’s finding of safety and effectiveness for Eli Lilly’s Humalog to support approval. The applicant demonstrated that reliance on the FDA’s finding of safety and effectiveness for Humalog was scientifically justified and provided Admelog-specific data to establish the drug’s safety and efficacy for its approved uses including two phase 3 clinical trials which enrolled approximately 500 patients each.
According to the CDC, more than 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, a chronic disease that affects how the body turns food into energy and the body’s production of natural insulin. Over time, diabetes increases the risk of serious health complications, including heart disease, blindness, and nerve and kidney damage. Improvement in blood sugar control through treatment with insulin, a common treatment, can reduce the risk of some of these long-term complications.
“One of my key policy efforts is increasing competition in the market for prescription drugs and helping facilitate the entry of lower-cost alternatives. This is particularly important for drugs like insulin that are taken by millions of Americans every day for a patient’s lifetime to manage a chronic disease,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
Admelog is a short-acting insulin product, which can be used to help patients with diabetes control their blood sugar. Short-acting insulin products are generally, but not always, administered just before meals to help control blood sugar levels after eating. These types of insulin products can also be used in insulin pumps to meet both background insulin needs as well as mealtime insulin needs. This is in contrast to long-acting insulin products which are generally used to provide a background level of insulin to control blood sugars between meals, and are administered once or twice a day. While both types of insulin products can play important roles in the treatment of both types of diabetes, patients with type 1 diabetes require both types of insulin while patients with type 2 diabetes may never need a short-acting insulin product. (Source: FDA Website, December 11, 2017)