Even when virtual it’s all about …..

This past Friday without much fanfare the ADA made it official converting the upcoming conference which was supposed to be in Chicago to a virtual conference. Per the ADA’s web site;

“Due to the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the American Diabetes Association has made the decision to transition the June 12-16, 2020 Scientific Sessions from a live, in-person meeting to a virtual meeting over the same dates. Although we would prefer to offer an in-person meeting, protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our members, attendees, and staff is paramount.”

While we applaud this decision it should be noted that the ADA will take a hit as this conference is a major money maker for the organization. Yes, the ADA has donors but the conference like so many things in this wacky world is really about money. Yet the ADA is not the only organization hit by this issue as AACE canceled their annual conference as well.

Yet these larger organizations aren’t alone as several more patient centric programs have also been forced to cancel programs due to the coronavirus. These organizations are dependent on their events to generate revenue so they can continue doing the excellent work they do. One great organization worthy of your support is TCOYD.TCOYD has been helping patients with diabetes and their families for years and like other organizations has been forced to cancel events due to the coronavirus. You can donate to TCOYD at https://tcoyd.org/donate/

Turing our attention to the for-profit world Novo Nordisk got some good news today with the EU approving their oral GLP-1 Rybelsus®. Per a company issued press release;

“Novo Nordisk today announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted marketing authorisation for Rybelsus® (oral semaglutide), for the treatment of adults with insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes to improve glycaemic control as an adjunct to diet and exercise. The marketing authorisation applies to all 27 European Union member states and the United Kingdom.”

This news was expected and likely will not have a material impact on the company’s results until much later in the year or perhaps early next year. Given the current situation with patients unable to see their physician this isn’t exactly the best time to be launching a new drug.

We are also paying close attention to Livongo which jumped over 11% on Friday. An interesting move upward given that all the major insiders, i.e. the executive team have been selling shares with reckless abandon. Also interesting that over the weekend a key member of the team announced he would be leaving the organization.

Our take on this is the street is betting that a greater fool will come along and buy the company before this house of cards collapses. The analysts seem to love Livongo believing they have the magic potion when it comes to way cool whiz bang diabetes management. On balance they ignore the company’s convoluted revenue recognition methodology and instead like so many others focus on way cool whiz bang.

As we have said many times the question with Livongo is what happens first, are they acquired, or they are exposed? Time will tell.

We are also paying close attention to the going’s on at Medtronic, the centerpiece of our most recent April Fool’s prank, which may actually turn out to be a real story. While we were just having some very good-natured fun it seems like our post was closer to the truth than we knew. So stay tuned everyone this could get very interesting.