Richmond pharmaceutical company expands into Canada
Kaléo will begin selling its epinephrine auto-injector in Canadian pharmacies this month
Richmond-based pharmaceutical company Kaléo announced Wednesday it is expanding its market to Canada, offering its epinephrine auto-injector Allerject. The product used to treat severe allergic reactions will be available in pharmacies across Canada starting May 19.
In response to a shortage of EpiPen in Canada in 2018, Kaléo’s original epinephrine auto-injector Auvi-Q was available in Canada through an Interim Order of Health Canada — the department of the Government of Canada responsible for federal health policy — through August 31, 2019, Kaléo spokesperson Caryn Foster Durham said. After two years of working with Health Canada to get the product to Canadian customers, Durham said the company was able to secure approval from Health Canada.
The only other product available in Canada for anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction, is EpiPen, according to Food Allergy Canada.
“Over the last two years, we have been strongly advocating to have a minimum of two suppliers of epinephrine auto-injectors available for the over 2 million Canadians impacted by food allergy,” Jennifer Gerdts, executive director of Food Allergy Canada, said in a statement. “Everyone should always be able to access life-saving medication. With the availability of Allerject, Canadian families now have a different option for an epinephrine auto-injector, providing them with choice that comes from no longer being vulnerable in a single-source market. It’s a significant step for the food allergy community.”
Allerject is marketed in the U.S. as Auvi-Q, which was Kaléo’s first product. Both products have voice-activated prompts about dosage amounts and usage for users. Allerject will available in the 0.15 mg and 0.3 mg dosages in Canada.
As many as 2.6 million Canadians may have at least one food allergy, according to Kaléo.
“At Kaléo, we understand the uncertainties patients at risk for anaphylaxis face each day,” Omar Khalil, general manager of allergy and pediatrics at Kaléo, said in a statement. “Anaphylactic reactions to food or other allergens can happen anywhere, at any time. It’s critical that people at-risk – and those close to them – have and will carry a device like Allerject to help them respond on a moment’s notice.”
Kaléo was founded in 2005. The company also manufactures and markets Evzio, a prescription medicine used to treat opioid emergencies, such as overdoses.