Welcome to the club

Welcome to the club

The conference has not yet officially begun but we already have news from our friends in Denmark, Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO). Per a press release issued this morning;

“Novo Nordisk and Glooko today announced that the two companies will work together to deliver jointly-developed and branded digital health solutions for people with diabetes. The non-exclusive collaboration will combine Novo Nordisk’s deep knowledge of diabetes with Glooko’s digital platform and data analytics expertise.”

Please excuse Diabetic Investor if we don’t start jumping up and down with excitement over this announcement. This is just the continuation of a trend we have been writing about for some time now. The fact is you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a diabetes company that is not in some way into interconnected diabetes management (IDM). That wonderful system that converts data into patient relevant patient actionable information.

Yet as so many things diabetes related these days and IDM is no different, commodization has also become commonplace. Johnson and Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has their diabetes eco-system. Our wine drinking friends in France have partnered with Google. Head south of here and our friends at Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) have partnered with IBM Watson Health. And there is no need to mention again all the way cool whiz bang cloud enabled conventional glucose monitors that do this same thing the same way.

For the moment, it appears Lilly (NYSE: LLY) is the only major diabetes company not yet a member of this club something we suspect will change very soon. Lilly has sniffed around the device arena for some time and we sense it’s just a matter of time before they announce that they too have a way cool whiz bang cloud enabled system which has way cool whiz bang data analytics tied to it.

We further suspect that another Diabetic Investor prediction that we made long ago, in a galaxy far far away, will also come true. With this convergence of drugs, devices and data underway it’s a small step towards selling diabetes management systems. Systems which will include all the drugs, devices and apps a patient needs to manage their diabetes, assuming that is a patient won’t be overwhelmed and buried under an avalanche of data.

The one major beneficiary of this quest for data, data which will be analyzed and then converted into patient relevant, patient actionable information are located even further south of here in San Diego. Yep, our friends at Dexcom (NASDAQ: DXCM) just happen to have the coolest device on the planet with their Band-Aid like sensor. A system which will not require calibration and is the ultimate in slap it on turn it on technology. This system will be so easy to use even a Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) diabetes executive can use it which basically means it’s very simple. Better still it will be priced in line with conventional finger stick systems and of course deliver better data than conventional finger stick systems.

Just in case anyone didn’t understand the meaning of that last sentence and if they are an executive at one of the few remaining conventional finger stick companies they just might not, the party is over. Dexcom may have the coolest device but let’s not forget that Abbott (NYSE: ABT) has the Libre and Medtronic also has their own CGM. Now the Libre and Medtronic systems may not be as good as the Dexcom system but with time and money they will become good enough. The simple point is here CGM is the future of glucose measurement and YES, IT IS THAT SIMPLE.

So here we are on the cusp of another JPM which quite frankly is our favorite conference of the year and already news is being made in the wacky world of diabetes. We haven’t even finished writing about this Novo deal when word comes that MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD) has received another $30.6 million from our wine drinking friends in France – the press release states;

“MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD) (TASE:MNKD) today confirmed that it received $30.6 million from Sanofi on January 6, 2017, representing the balance of the accelerated insulin “put” option previously exercised by MannKind.  This payment was made pursuant to a previously disclosed agreement reached with Sanofi on November 9, 2016.”

A couple of quick thoughts here, first MannKind gets to fight on and second is there anything else Sanofi could do to prove just how inept they are when it comes to diabetes.

There are some who say we have been overly harsh towards Sanofi, that we should give them credit for turning Lantus into a mega-blockbuster and then ignore the fact, yes, those pesky facts again, that they have screwed up everything else they have touched in diabetes. To these folks, we are reminded of something Momma Kliff used to say “If you can’t stand the heat then stop throwing gas on the fire.” We cleaned up that statement from Mom as she had no patience for stupidity, something she obviously passed on.