Can’t make this up

Can’t make this up

To say it’s a been a rough few weeks for MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD) is like saying there’s minor holiday coming up on the 25th of the month. Over the past 30 trading sessions shares of MannKind have fallen over 40%. The general consensus is that Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) will terminate their partnership with the company in early January as Afrezza sales continue to fall well below even very lowered expectations.

Yet there are still MannKind believers and has become their custom they aren’t shy about why they are still bullish. Now some of these pieces ae very well thought out and actually admit that while they are still bullish they are not delusional acknowledging that everything most go MannKind’s way for the company to have any chance at all. Which given the company’s history has about as much chance at happening as the Chicago Bears winning the Superbowl this year and this is a team that just lost to the San Francisco 49ers.

We mention this as we just read a piece by our good buddy Joshua Rodrigues the founder of CNA Finance. Josh is major MannKind bull and has penned many pieces as to why MannKind shares will soar and how Afrezza is the greatest thing to happen to diabetes since the discovery of insulin. Like our many friends on Twitter Josh has long touted one of the major pluses for MannKind was their partnership with Sanofi.

Now regular readers of Diabetic Investor know that we aren’t exactly enamored with how Sanofi has run their diabetes franchise. That other than Lantus the company has the reserve Midas touch when it comes to diabetes.

This is why we couldn’t help but laugh when we read the following passage penned by Josh:

“The bottom line is that the stock has been falling throughout the year as the result of poor Afrezza sales, and that my friends, is on Sanofi’s hands! The reality is that SNY should have never been contracted for the commercialization of Afrezza given its conflict of interest in the diabetes treatment industry.”

Josh we hate to break the news but the reason Sanofi screwed up has nothing to do with a conflict of interest, heck we wish that was the reason. No the reason Sanofi screwed up is they are inept, arrogant and clueless. (And other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the play? But we digress)

But this gets even better as Josh lays into Sanofi again blaming them for the poor results of the much ballyhooed direct to consumer ad campaign, the campaign that all the MannKind believes said would catapult Afrezza sales through the roof. Josh writes:

“During the pre-launch of Afrezza, MNKD bulls held concerns off. After all, the Direct To Consumer marketing phase was on the way. However, SNY did a horrible job with this as well. When the DtC phase launched, SNY launched online ads and magazine ads. However, they failed to put the most effective piece of the puzzle into play… TV ads. Believe it or not, we still haven’t seen not one TV ad.”

Here we agree partially with Josh as we did point out that Sanofi was not running TV ads for Afrezza. Yet even with TV ads the results would not have been any different. Josh like so many others have never bothered to acknowledge the failure of Afrezza is combination of factors. That even if Sanofi wasn’t a horrible partner the drug had major obstacles to overcome not the least of which being poor formulary coverage. That the need for additional tests hurt, as did the fact that many physicians did not want to place a growth hormone in a blood rich environment. Nor did it help either that insulin using Type 2 patients the target market for Afrezza found the drug difficult to use. We could go on but why.

The fact is no one has ever disputed whether Afrezza works or not, it does. The only real dispute has been would sales ever get beyond a few million, would this be the blockbuster drug many thought it would be or was Diabetic Investor actually right and this was nothing more than a niche product. Well given those pesky facts we think we know who was right.

Yet truth be told when this is all over we’re actually going to miss Josh and his buddies plus all the MannKind/Afrezza zealots on Twitter. This is a passionate and creative group too bad they focused their passion and creativity on MannKind/Afrezza.