Biopharmaceutical company Mannkind is expanding its production capacity for Afrezza, its inhaled insulin product.
Chief financial officer Matt Pfeffer told Connecticut's Danbury News Times on April 27 that the company was planning to triple capacity at its local manufacturing facility in the hope that demand for Afrezza will continue to increase in the coming months.
Pfeffer said that since its launch in February the drug, the first inhalable and fast-acting insulin, has been welcomed by patients with diabetes.
"Like any launch, it's going slow as expected but there are a lot of positive reports out there," Pfeffer told the newspaper. "The difference people say the drug is making in their lives is very encouraging. Our hope is that as more people become aware of its benefits, word will continue to spread."
Mannkind's Danbury plant is currently operating one manufacturing line that can produce up to 120 million cartridges of Afrezza each year. Later this quarter production will be expanded to three manufacturing lines, tripling the capacity to about 360 million cartridges. The plant was designed to accommodate up to 12 manufacturing lines.
The company also announced on Monday that it was preparing to manufacture a 12-unit cartridge strength of Afrezza, complementing the existing 4-unit and 8-unit cartridges. The 12-unit cartridge was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 17, 2015 and is expected to become available in the second half of 2015.
MannKind has formed a partnership with Sanofi to develop and commercialize Afrezza.