Take a deep breath – This could only happen in diabetes
According to a press release issued by a company known as Xhale; “Xhale, Inc. announced today the issuance of U.S. patent 7,914,460, disclosing a system and method for noninvasive monitoring of glucose concentrations in blood through the analysis of exhaled breath condensate. Such a system, when successfully commercialized and approved, would allow noninvasive blood glucose monitoring via the breath, using a small handheld device to accurately and conveniently measure blood glucose levels by simply exhaling into the device.”
In the interest of full disclosure Diabetic Investor must admit we have not contacted Xhale or had their technology investigated by our independent panel of experts. To be frank we weren’t sure they could stop laughing long enough to provide an opinion. However we did see some possible synergies between what Xhale is attempting and what MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD) is attempting as both companies see the lung as the way to diabetes riches.
Think of the possibilities if you can combine MannKind’s Dreamboat delivery system with Xhale’s technology, a patient would not only avoid the pain of injecting insulin they will avoid the additional pain of monitoring their glucose levels. Talk about killing two painful birds with one stone, surly investors would go wild for such an innovative piece of technology.
Granted there are some drawbacks here but when it comes to the world of diabetes devices, non-invasive glucose monitoring in particular, there are no such thing as drawbacks, merely obstacles that will be overcome as investors pony up more money. Speaking of which although MannKind’s founder Al Mann, has invested almost a billion into MannKind, he isn’t broke (yet) and given the synergies between Xhale and MannKind, why not squander the remainder of his fortune investing in Xhale. Heck it sure beats having his heirs having to pay estate taxes, after all the IRS can’t tax what isn’t given.
Timing actually couldn’t be better as we all know that at the end of June is the annual ADA Scientific Sessions, the largest and most important diabetes conference of the year; an event that not only attracts researchers, physicians and companies in the diabetes space but media and lots of free publicity. Think of how the mainstream media would eat this story up as it has all the elements that make a great story; no needles and “innovative” “groundbreaking” technology. Never mind the obstacles or the fact that no one has ever successfully developed a non-invasive glucose monitor, when it comes to grabbing headlines just ask any PR director who’s dealt with the media, rarely do the facts get in the way of a good story; especially one that would be promoted by the master himself, Al Mann.
Diabetic Investor must admit we love this time of year as everyone and anyone who has an idea about how to improve diabetes care starts issuing press releases just as everyone is getting ready for the conference. If history is a guide, issuing press releases is about all these companies will good for once the conference is over. That’s the one constant in the non-invasive universe the ability to constantly issue mindless press releases that really are nothing more than shameless attempts to attract more investor attention. For that is the real goal of 99.9% of non-invasive companies, bilk investors of everything they have until they have nothing left to invest, then move onto the next unsuspecting group of investors and do exact same thing. When that fails, change the name of the company and start the process all over again.
Although Diabetic Investor believes Xhale chances of success are lower than the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year, they do have something in common with Cub fans the world over as there is always next year. The one difference between those lovable losers on the north side of Chicago and non-invasive glucose companies is that occasionally the Cubs actually win a World Series, it may happen only once a century but that sure beats the track record of non-invasive companies who have never won and likely never will. The fact is it’s about even money which will actually come first, the Cubs actually winning a World Series or having a company successful develop and commercialize a non-invasive glucose monitor, our money is on the Cubs.