Big Week Ahead

Big Week Ahead

College bowl games and NFL playoffs aren’t the only events that mark the start of New Year, as next week is the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Unlike last year Diabetic Investor sees this year’s event as being full of news. As per usual Diabetic Investor will be attended the event and here are just some the questions we hope will be answered.

1.      What’s up at Roche?

As we reported yesterday Roche is in a precarious position with their diabetes device unit. But devices aren’t the only area where Roche is facing questions. While this is not a medical conference per se Diabetic Investor is hoping (but not overly optimistic about) that the company will provide some real data on their GLP-1 drug candidate. Given their previous public comments one just might think this drug is the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread and soft soap. However, the company has embarked on a strange strategy of telling everyone how great it is without providing any real data that actually demonstrates who great it supposedly is.

2.      When can we expect to see the much hyped Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) patch pump?

Suffice it to say this product has been on a roller coaster ride since the company first announced they were working on it. Unfortunately we have yet to receive any clear information on exactly when, or if, this product will ever make it to the FDA. Frankly the FDA submission date has changed so many times it’s anyone guess when this product will actually come to market.

3.      Byetta LAR Update

With the PUDFA date for LAR coming in Mid-March look for several questions on the status of the approval process. Given the importance of this product it will be interesting to see how Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) and Lilly (NYSE:LLY) talk about LAR. We’ll get a glimpse of this Monday afternoon at 3:30pm PST when Amylin present and again on Tuesday at 3pm PST when Lilly presents. Will the two companies present a united front or will we once again see a disconnect between the two partners?

4.      Who’s winning the fight against fat?

Considering that Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS), Orexigen (NASDAQ:OREX) and Arena (NASDAQ:ARNA) are all presenting we should gain some valuable insight as to where everyone stands. Diabetic Investor has been following this race closely and we’re particularly interested in how these companies explain away the rather poor completion rates for their various clinical trials.

5.      Will MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD) finally announce a partnership agreement?

Like the boy who cried wolf MannKind never misses an opportunity to tout that they are oh so close to a partnership agreement. It would be nice, if not shocking, if they actually followed thru on all this talk if they really had an agreement. It would be even more interesting, should any agreement be announced, to see which company is foolish enough to take on this herculean task.

6.      Just where is Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) going?

Is the company truly interested in entering the glucose monitoring market? Do they have any plans to enter the insulin pump market? And what about their GLP-1 pipeline? Based on their previous public statements diabetes is critical to their future, perhaps we’ll see just how critical.

These are just some of the questions Diabetic Investor is seeking answers too. Using history as a guide this conference is also full of great little tidbits and rumors which always make for some nice juicy copy. So stay close to your computer, BlackBerry or whatever device you use to receive your emails as Diabetic Investor will surely have plenty to write about.