Kaleo Pharmaceuticals, a small privately held drugmaker, says it plans to bring the Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injector back onto the market in 2017.
Both the Auvi-Q and EpiPen devices inject a dose of epinephrine into the thigh of a person experiencing a severe allergic reaction.
Auvi-Q, one of the only direct competitors to the EpiPen, was pulled from the market by the pharmaceutical giant Sanofi last year. Sanofi said it had received a handful of reports that the device didn’t deliver a reliable dose of epinephrine.
Kaleo, which invented the Auvi-Q device, bought the rights to it back from Sanofi in February, said Spencer Williamson, the company’s CEO, in an interview with Shots.
The Auvi-Q is smaller than the EpiPen — about the size of a credit card and as thick as a smartphone — and it has audio instructions that guide a user through the injection process. Kaleo also makes Evzio, a popular auto-injector for naloxone, the opioid antidote used to treat overdoses.
Eric Edwards, who was an inventor of the Auvi-Q and founder of kaleo, says the company has fully automated the production of the devices and has a 100-point quality control inspection to ensure they deliver consistent doses of epinephrine to those who use them.
The reintroduction of Auvi-Q to the market will bring new competition to the EpiPen, which has been the subject of headlines, consumer anger and congressional investigations because its manufacturer, Mylan, raised its price about $500 over a few years. A two-pack of the devices, which have been on the market for decades, were listed at $633 at Walgreens Pharmacy, according to GoodRX.
Mylan in August said it will introduce a generic version of EpiPen to the market at half the price.
Williamson declined to say how much kaleo expects to charge for Auvi-Q. He said the company will work …