Seen this show before

Seen this show before

One of the best things about following a company for many years is the ability to understand it’s DNA. What makes the company tick so to speak. Each company has a culture, a way of doing business the people may change but the DNA does not.

We thought of this today while reading a story about MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD) the makers of Afrezza. According to this story posted on the LA BIZ web site;

“Stabbing someone having allergic reaction with a drug injector is intimidating, especially if the victim is a child.

Valencia, California-based MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) is trying to change that with an inhalable version of the life-saving drug epinephrine, most widely used by severe allergy sufferers in injectable form through Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ: MYL) EpiPen.”

Now we don’t want to cast any aspersions on MannKind as we’re sure they really believe they can do this however given the precarious state the company finds itself in we can’t help but believe this in an attempt to distract stakeholders. Saying MannKind has financial issues, issues which may eventually sink the company, is like saying the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Yet this is not the first time the company has pulled this sort of stunt. Yes, back in the day when the late Al Mann was at helm, Al was notorious for this type of hype. Not only was Afrezza the greatest thing since sliced bread and soft soap but the company had a pipeline full of products that were revolutionary. Now never mind that most of these products were no more than just untested, unproven ideas. Never mind that company could not afford to develop these ideas. Nope stakeholders were expected to believe because Al said so.

As a story posted by Motely Fool noted today this company has some very serious financial issues. The full story can be read at http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/09/04/5-red-flags-on-mannkinds-balance-sheet.aspx.

Now regular readers of Diabetic Investor should not be shocked by any of this as we have chronicled the ups and downs of the MannKind roller coaster ride from the beginning.  We have consistently stated that this was never a story about whether Afrezza worked or not, the drug does work. This has always been a story about whether enough patients would use the drug to make it a viable business. Whether payors would pay for the drug and physicians would prescribe it. Whether our wine drinking friends could be a leopard that actually changes its spots and not screw up another diabetes drug not named Lantus.

Now in firm control of Afrezza the company is desperately trying to survive. A quest which is like asking the St. Louis Cardinals to overcome the Chicago Cubs in the National Leagues Central Division. As we begin play today the Cubs have a 16.5 game lead with just 25 games left in the regular season. Is it possible the Cardinals could overcome this Herculean deficit, sure. It’s also possible that an elephant can stand on coffee table without breaking it.

The stark reality is MannKind is on life support and its chances of survival aren’t good. The Fat Lady is warming up and getting ready to sing the MannKind swan song.