Living the dream

Living the dream

It’s one thing for misinformed, overzealous non-professionals amateurs to live in a fantasyland. It’s quite another thing when the people who are supposed to be informed and knowledgeable also live in this same fantasyland.  Such is the case for MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD).

As we noted earlier today the company presented at the Aegis Capital Growth Conference in Las Vegas, a presentation that due to technical difficulties lasted a total of 17 minutes and 29 seconds. Here’s what they said.

First the company acknowledged that sales Afrezza haven’t gone as anticipated, stating that sales “haven’t gone gangbusters.” They said this “slow start” will be offset by the recently initiated PRINT direct to consume ad campaign. That in patient and physician surveys show both like “the concept” of inhaled insulin. In a somewhat strange statement the company noted they now have additional capacity but really don’t need this additional capacity stating that its “nice to have.”

More importantly they acknowledged what we suspected financially things aren’t so great. Besides the many cost cutting initiatives implemented cash is becoming an issue. More so now that we know they used nearly $50 million in cash to get rid of the convertible debt. In a somewhat surprising statement the company also acknowledged they missed a milestone which would have generated an additional $25 million.

The real funny part was how even though Al Mann was not presenting the company has not lost their fondness for over-promising and innuendo. The company implied that Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) their partner will begin using TV ads as part of the DTC campaign. Diabetic Investor has confirmed that Sanofi is CONSIDERING this but has not yet produced an ad nor have they bought any ad time. Sources within the company have confirmed that Afrezza sales have been essentially flat while co-payment redemptions have fallen, not a good sign.

The reality is Sanofi is looking at the Afrezza sales numbers and isn’t happy. They were hoping beyond hope perhaps that Afrezza sales would show some signs of life now that it has been available since February. Well that just isn’t happening and it’s looking more and more like this partnerships will come to an end. The  basic question facing Olivier as we have noted before does he do what needs to be done and get out of the partnership as fast as possible or does he throw more money into a very bad idea.

The final chapter of the MannKind/Afrezza is being written. A story which has never been about whether Afrezza works or not, it clearly works. Nor has this story been about whether there is a market for Afrezza, there is it’s just a niche not blockbuster market. The Afrezza story has always been whether the drug would be commercially successful, whether it could overcome the many very real issues facing the drug. The facts, yes those pesky facts, tell us Afrezza is what we’ve said all along nothing more than a niche drug.

The only question now is will Sanofi prolong the agony or do the decent thing and end this charade.