Time to play ball!

Time to play ball!

Ok this is not diabetes related but we did a little happy dance yesterday when the MLB announced there will be baseball this year. This is particularly good news for our beloved Chicago White Sox, sorry Cub fans but we’re the better team this year, who have a nice collection of young talent and should be very fun to watch. With a shortened season you never know what will happen but we’re just glad that baseball is coming back.

Now onto our wacky world where things as always are wackier than ever. A case in point is our friends at MannKind who you may have noticed is on a nice little roll since the ADA. Shares have jumped past $2 and seems to have the BIG MO. Whether this jump is related to what was generally good data coming out of ADA, the shorts covering their positions or a combination of the two do stakeholders really care.

The fact is Afrezza has always been what we said it would be a niche drug. There is no question the drug works and has a place in the treatment paradigm. It will never replace injectable insulin, nor will it become the mega-blockbuster once envisioned by company founder the late Al Mann. However Afrezza is finding its place and is beginning to show signs of life.

The key for MannKind is not to become to enamored with Afrezza and continue to transform themselves from a diabetes company to a drug delivery company. Yes it helps that Afrezza is doing better but the real value here is transforming other drugs from injectable to inhaled. This is the real value of MannKind.

We are continuing our quest to gather more information about how the Libre2 received an iCGM designation, but this is more for grins and giggles than anything else. The more we look at the CGM market the more convinced we are that the introduction of Libre2 is one big yawn. Sure it has some new features but nothing so earthshattering that it would convince a Dexcom user to switch.

Our concern here is that Abbott may be losing their focus and deviating from a strategy that is clearly working. Yes the warning that came with the Libre2 approval seems inconsistent with the iCGM designation but Dexcom has already locked up the major insulin pump players and most of the Tyler systems under development. We don’t think Abbott has lost their mind and decided to enter the insulin pump space nor do we see them overly enthusiastic about their relationship with Bigfoot.

Libre and now Libre2 is a value play. Abbott should not lose sight of this but their actions since the approval are concerning. A much bigger issue looms on the horizon as it won’t be long before Dexcom brings the G7 to market a product that will give Libre2 a serious run for its money including taking away any perceived price advantage. This is a much bigger issue for Abbott than how the Libre2 approval came about and with what restrictions.

Moving to the digital world we continue to wait for OneDrop to file for an IPO. The fact they haven’t yet makes us wonder if the digital health juggernaut is losing steam. As we noted yesterday the leader of all things way cool and whiz bang Apple does not seem overly interested in entering digital health. Shares of Livongo continue to rise to unjustifiable levels and everyone and anyone who has a BGM or CGM is jumping into digital diabetes.

Does this mean the bubble is about to burst? Who knows but with COVID cases once again rising, fears of a second wave coming and all the social unrest it sure as hell feels that way. With the second quarter coming to a close we’ll soon get another piece of the puzzle. A puzzle that is getting increasingly complex.

It has been said that markets like to climb a wall of worry and there is plenty to worry about these days. We just can’t help but feel that when the bubble does burst it will be very ugly and very painful. We hope we’re wrong, but all this irrational exuberance, unjustifiable valuations and outright craziness does not make us feel any better.

But look on the bright side we’ll have baseball again. Play Ball!