Novo Nordisk has filed for European approval for its long-acting insulin product Degludec and insulin combination analogue DegludecPlus, directly competing with Sanofi’s Lantus.

The Danish pharmaceutical firm has submitted the applications on the basis of results from the BEGIN and BOOST trial programmes, which enrolled almost 10,000 type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients and posted positive results in lowering blood glucose levels.

Degludec also demonstrated a significantly lower rate of hypoglycaemia in comparison to Sanofi’s insulin product Lantus.

Lantus is currently the world’s biggest selling insulin product, responsible for revenues totalling $3.5bn in 2010, but Degludec is expected to be a considerable challenger.