The Sanofi Theme Song and other items

We’re not sure if they have one or not but we think Sanofi needs a theme song. Now there are a host of possibilities for our wine drinking friends but after learning that Zealand Pharma is abandoning their partnership with the company we think we found the perfect song – Another One Bites the Dust by Queen. Yes, this classic Queen hit is perfect for Sanofi.

Zealand joins a long and distinguished list of partners who have said goodbye to Sanofi. A list which includes Medtronic, MannKind and AgaMatrix just to name a few. Yes, when it comes to diabetes partnerships Sanofi has the reverse Midas touch.

This news makes us wonder how long it will be before Google says enough is enough. The two companies have combined to form OnDuo which depending on who you speak with is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or another accident waiting to happen.

At some point you would think companies would shy away from partnering with Sanofi. That they would look at their track record of failures and avoid them as if they had the plague. But nope not in our wacky world. Now some of this is understandable as Sanofi does do one thing very well as they just love throwing money around. Never mind that these investments have rarely paid off.

Sanofi is throwing $250 million into OnDuo and rumors are swirling the company is getting a little impatient that this investment hasn’t begun to pay off. Some believe the company may just throw even more money into OnDuo, buy out Google and go it alone. Something we believe would be well received by our friends in Mountain View.

We honestly have no idea what will happen but frankly we aren’t expecting much either. As we have said many times we have lots of faith in Google, but this faith does not extend to Sanofi. Time will tell but our many gray hairs tell us that Google will join this long and growing list of Sanofi partners who say Au revoir.

In the kudos and credit department – Kudos to Insulet Pat Sullivan CEO who will retire at the end of the year. Pat got off to a rocky start at Insulet but there no stakeholders in Insulet who can argue with his results. So good job Pat and enjoy your retirement.

Taking over the CEO position will be Shacey Petrovic who already serves as the company’s President and COO. Shacey has done a fine job in her role and should do an equally good job in her new role. So, Congrats Shacey.

All in all, we don’t see much changing for Insulet as the insulin pump space continues from an investment perspective anyway to be hotter than Georgia asphalt. Going into trading this morning shares of Insulet have risen over 81% these past 12 months. Insulet does have some issues to contend with but issues that are generally being ignored by the investment community.

The reality is MedTech is the hottest thing going these days and all the toy makers should enjoy the ride as it will not last forever. Some of the rise is well deserved but to those of us with snow on the roof who’ve been around for more than a heartbeat know differently. Just ask any Bears fan who watched our beloved jump out to a 20-0 lead over the hated Packers only to see a hobbled Aaron Rodgers come off the bench to lead the Pack to another victory. The good times do not last forever.

In an interesting tidbit there was a great piece posted on MarketWatch about non-diabetics using CGM technology. (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/people-are-using-diabetes-technology-to-track-their-blood-sugar-and-improve-their-health-2018-09-10?siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo) As we have stated consistently the CGM market has a huge upside and not just because CGM has yet to penetrate the largest group of patients, non-insulin using patients. As this post notes CGM has applications beyond patients with diabetes. Should CGM become a weight loss or fitness tool watch out as the sky is the limit.

The one mistake this post makes, which is understandable as everyone else is making the same mistake is Apple is going nowhere in CGM but into a stronger relationship with Dexcom. In an ironic twist that could only happen in the Valley the slap it on turn it on Band Aid like sensor Dexcom is developing with Google will push Apple closer to Dexcom. This is exactly the type of CGM technology which will bring CGM not just to non-insulin using patients but expand CGM usage outside of diabetes.

This is also good news for Abbott as many of the limitations with the FreeStyle Libre will not apply or be as important when the system is used by someone who does not have diabetes. What the Libre and G6 have going for them most is neither requires any fingerstick calibrations, both sensors are easy to insert and both last for a decent amount of time. Simply put it will not take much heavy lifting to reposition these sensors from a device for patients with diabetes to a device that can be used by anyone.

From the we don’t know if anyone has noticed or not department shares of MannKind are on a roll lately. The company recently signed a deal with United Therapeutics while also continuing their efforts to clean up their balance sheet. Shares are up almost 70% over the last month. While we don’t know if this is the beginning of a Tandem like turnaround but in this wacky world of ours you never know.

Anyone who has watched this company as long as we have knows one thing MannKind has been on a roll before. All along we stated the MannKind story is not about whether Afrezza works or not, it clearly works and there is a place for drug in the treatment paradigm. The question for MannKind has been and continues to be can it be commercially successful. Can they increase Afrezza scripts while building other applications for their technology outside of diabetes.

Our gut tells us with MedTech blazing hot MannKind just might catch fire.

Finally, we all know what day it is, and we would be remiss if we did not remember the many lives lost 17 years ago. Like everyone else we remember that day as if it was yesterday. A huge shout out to the men and women of our armed services, first responders and members of police and fire departments everywhere God Bless You for your service.