Lilly has bought itself worldwide rights to Locemia's intranasal glucagon, a potential treatment for severe hypoglycaemia in people with diabetes treated with insulin, for an undisclosed amount.

The product allows Montreal, Canada-based Locemia’s proprietary glucagon nasal powder formulation to be delivered via a puff to the nose through a single-use, ready-to-use device, making it ideal for an emergency situation.

According to a recent survey by insulin maker Novo Nordisk, night-time hypogylcaemia is suffered by 50% of people with diabetes. It can be particularly problematic because it often goes undetected and could lead to unconsciousness and even death in severe cases. 

Lilly is hoping that intranasal glucagon, which is currently being tested in Phase III trials, could become the first needle-free rescue treatment for the condition.

"If approved, glucagon nasal powder would be an important innovation for people with diabetes and an exciting addition to our product portfolio," said Enrique Conterno, president of Lilly Diabetes.