- Thomson Reuters
The privately held drugmaker Kaleo on Wednesday announced plans for a US relaunch of its Auvi-Q injector for life-threatening allergic reactions in the first half of next year.
Auvi-Q, designed to deliver the same epinephrine drug as Mylan’s EpiPen, was recalled from the market in October 2015 amid concerns about accuracy of the dose delivered.
At that point, the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi had licensed and made Auvi-Q, but in February it returned the product’s rights to Kaleo.
Mylan has come under fire from lawmakers and consumer groups for raising the list price for a pair of EpiPens to more than $600 this year from $100 in 2007 when Mylan acquired the product.
Mylan said last month it planned to launch, at a list price of $300, its own generic EpiPen by the end of this year.
Officials at Kaleo declined to comment on a planned list price for the relaunched Auvi-Q.
“We are working on what is the right price to assure that the ultimate patient copay is low,” Kaleo CEO Spencer Williamson told Reuters in a telephone interview. By the time Auvi-Q was recalled, its price was about about $500, in line with how much the EpiPen cost then.
Unlike the pen-shaped EpiPen, Auvi-Q, which includes a voice-prompt system to guide users, is the length and width of a credit card with the thickness of a small cellphone.
The Kaleo device also has a needle that automatically retracts after the device has been used.
Williamson said Auvi-Q would be manufactured at an automated robotic production line located in the Midwest.
When Auvi-Q entered the market in 2012, it managed to pick up some of the market from the EpiPen. Here’s how all of EpiPen’s epinephrine injection competitors (Auvi-Q and a few other devices) stack up in number of prescriptions to the branded product.
- Andy Kiersz/Business Insider
Kaleo also sells Evzio, a handheld device designed to automatically deliver a set dose of naloxone, a drug approved to treat an overdose of opioid painkillers.
Evzio has a list price of $3,750 for two active devices and one training device.