MannKind Reports – Is anyone listening?
Rarely does Diabetic Investor hear anger expressed during a company’s prepared remarks. This is exactly what happened this afternoon when MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD) reported first quarter results. Al Mann, the company’s founder and driving force, took control of the call and launched a vigorous defense of Afresa®, the company’s inhaled insulin product that was recently submitted to the FDA.
Going point by point Mr. Mann angrily went after what he termed as “certain sell-side analysts” who are questioning Afresa from both a regulatory path and market potential perspective. At one point Mr. Mann stated that Afresa has the potential to penetrate 11% of the diabetes population making a multi-billion product. He also stated the company continues to pursue a partnership agreement and wants this done by September. As with previous calls the company provided little detail on potential partners only to state they have several interested potential partners.
Diabetic Investor sees no reason to dispute any of what the company said as we continue to believe that even if Afersa is approved by the FDA the product is basically DOA. This really has nothing to do with the drug itself rather the market it will enter. In reality Afresa’s fate was determined the day Exubera was pulled from the market and reinforced as everyone else abandoned their inhaled insulin projects.
Things have become so bad for the company that Mr. Mann’s tirade feel mostly on deaf ears. Today’s call lasted just 38 minutes and there were only four or five questions including follow up questions. With so much of his personal fortune tied up in the company Diabetic Investor can understand Mr. Mann’s defense of a company he’s nurtured from the very beginning. It’s also true that few have Mr. Mann’s experience in the diabetes arena. However this one time where he should use his experience and knowledge of the diabetes market to read the handwriting on the wall. The time for inhaled insulin has come and gone. All this ranting will only hurt what was once a solid reputation in the diabetes arena.