ADA Day One
Welcome to the nations capital home to the 2006 American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions. While it may be hard to believe there is something going on here other than Exubera. Here are just a few items of interest:
1. Metrika, the maker of the at home A1c test A1cNow+ is in the midst of serious late stage negotiations to be acquired. Although all the I’s aren’t dotted nor are the T’s crossed, the deal should be closed in the very near future. While there is more than on suitor Diabetic Investor sees Bayer coming out on top.
2. Potential problems for Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM), after the successful launch of their STS continuous glucose monitoring system, it appears the company has run into some stumbling blocks. Besides experiencing a higher than normal turnover rate in their sales force, DI hears that the company may announce a recall and that some product has already been pulled from the market.
3. Byetta from Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) continues its impressive march towards becoming the premier treatment for Type 2 diabetes. During an excellent presentation this morning by Carol Wysham M.D., the doctor mentioned that of the first 100 patients she put on Byetta only 1 declined to use the drug because had to be injected. While Dr. Wysham made it clear that Byetta isn’t for every type 2 patient, she like so many others has been impressed with Byetta’s performance and is expanding its use among her type 2 patient population. DI continues to see Amylin as the most valuable property in the diabetes space.
4. While the Exubera exhibit is drawing the expected large crowds, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) continues to play up the fear of injection marketing angle. As Dr. Wysham pointed out during her presentation it’s not the needle patient’s fear but the insulin itself that prevents patients from initiating insulin therapy. DI continues to believe even with all of Pfizer’s marketing muscle and excitement generated over inhaled insulin, Exubera will be no more than a niche product. We further believe the early adopters of Exubera who use the product in a non-controlled real world setting will not provide the feedback the company anticipates thus hurting future sales.
5. As DI predicted just a few years ago, there’s an Israeli insulin pump company planning on giving away the pump for free and making their money from the continual sales of disposables. DI also found another pump company looking to compete with Insulet’s OmniPod, although still at the prototype stage they too believe they can give away the device and make money from the sale of disposables. We’ll have an even greater insight into these and other devices companies when part two of our special report on devices and delivery systems is published on July 10th, 2006. You can still order your copy by contacting DI at email@example.com.
6. DI is slightly surprised by the lack of blood glucose monitoring (BGM) companies at the show. Typically there are a host of small foreign companies looking to be the next Therasense. With all the attention surrounding continuous monitoring and the BGM market already dominated by the big four, this lack of BGM wantabees isn’t missed one bit.