Another PT moment

Another PT moment

P T Barnum
the often quoted circus owner would get a kick of the latest rumor to hit the
street involving MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD). Today shares of MannKind we’re up
almost 9% on huge volume of over 2 million shares traded. (That’s almost two
and a half times the average daily trading volume.) The reason for today’s move
is that Astellas Pharmaceuticals is rumored to be interested in the company.

As Diabetic
Investor has been reporting, MannKind has been promising some type of announcement
on a partner for their Afresa® inhaled insulin product which is currently awaiting
FDA approval. These continued promises have driven MannKind shares from a low
of $2.29 back on March 9th to $8.73 were shares closed today, that’s
an increase of nearly 250%.

What Diabetic
Investor finds so amazing is that anyone would consider partnering with and/or buying
MannKind. Should this deal come to pass it will truly solidify MannKind’s
founder Al Mann as the world’s greatest salesman. Nor would it be the first
time Mr. Mann has made his investors and himself rich. It wasn’t that long ago
that Mr. Mann found a buyer for another company he founded, MiniMed. Realizing
that the dynamics of the insulin pump were changing and not for the better,
MiniMed was sold to Medtronic (NYSE:MDT). Given the way things have turned out
for MiniMed and Medtronic one can only hope that before Astellas signs on the
dotted line their lawyers are better at due diligence than Medtronic’s lawyers

Investor won’t repeat the laundry list of reasons why Afersa is doomed to be
nothing but a niche product. Nor will we remind everyone that FDA approval is
by no means a certainty. All we will say is Exubera. Yes that amazing product from
drug giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), that ended up costing the company over $4 billion
in losses and an equal amount of public embarrassment.

Given all the
deals Diabetic Investor has seen over the past 15 years or so, this one would
be one for the ages. It would also be another example of corporate hubris. How
many times have we seen someone out there who believes that they are different
and can really succeed when everyone else has failed? Can you say non-invasive
glucose monitoring? How many times have we have seen a company with little or
no diabetes experience believe they could enter this market and succeed? Just
ask Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) how well their partnership with Schering Plough
worked out for Prandin sales.

Since the
demise of Exubera Diabetic Investor has always wondered what happened to those wonderful
Exubera delivery devices, the Exubera Bong as it was more popularly known.
Should these rumors pan out and a deal is done we think we found the answer.
Because the only way this deal makes any sense whatsoever is if one the parties
involved is smoking something.

PT was right again,
there is a sucker born every minute.