Lantus is a long-acting insulin analog that helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It also can be used with cats. Insulin glargine is the active ingredient in Lantus, produced by Sanofi-Aventis.
Lantus is a synthetic insulin analog rather than actual insulin. It is made through recombinant DNA technology (rDNA) of a non-pathogenic type of bacteria.
A medication can only be sold in a generic version after the original manufacturer's patents expire. The first Lantus patent is set to expire in May 2010, but the company holds additional patents that expire at a later date.
Because Lantus is developed from a living organism, it is classified as a biologic.
As of 2010, U.S. regulations do not allow manufacturers to make generic biologic drugs. This prevents Lantus from being offered in a generic equivalent for the foreseeable future.
Examples of other biologics include vaccines and certain drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.