US-based therapeutic products developer MannKind has signed an agreement with Tanner Pharma Group for the distribution of its Afrezza Inhalation Powder in countries outside the US.

The agreement covers markets outside of the US where the product is yet to be registered. Under the terms of the deal, Tanner Pharma Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary TannerGAP will manage the distribution.

Afrezza is a rapid-acting inhaled insulin product developed to improve glycaemic control in adults living with diabetes mellitus.

The medication is available as a dry powder formulation of human insulin that is taken using a small and portable inhaler. Upon inhalation to the lung, Afrezza dissolves rapidly and passes into the bloodstream within one minute.

This rapid absorption is said to enable the drug to start decreasing blood sugar levels within approximately 12 minutes of administration.

MannKind CEO Michael Castagna said: “Al Mann had a vision of making Afrezza available to all people living with diabetes around the world and this agreement helps accelerate that access to Afrezza on a named patient access basis in underserved international markets.

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“Our partnership with Tanner Pharma to distribute Afrezza provides us a strong partner with a track record of success.”

“Our partnership with Tanner Pharma to distribute Afrezza provides us a strong partner with a track record of success in working with physicians, hospitals and ministries of health to provide medicine that is not currently available in their country.”

Tanner Pharma chairman and founder Banks Bourne said: “We are pleased to partner with MannKind in helping fulfill the demand for Afrezza in countries outside the US.”

Afrezza comes in four, eight- and 12-unit single-dose cartridges of insulin powder. The medicine can be used in cobination with other diabetes therapies to achieve target blood sugar levels.

In May this year, MannKind entered an exclusive marketing and distribution agreement with Cipla for the distribution of Afrezza in India.

As per the terms of this agreement, Cipla is responsible to get regulatory approvals required for distribution in the country, and carry out all associated marketing and sales activities.