When will they learn?
Seriously there are times we wonder whether our wine drinking friends in France have the capacity to learn. One just might think that by now they would understand that the insulin market has commoditized. That with the introduction of Basaglar from Lilly (NYSE: LLY) that when it comes to long-acting insulin it’s all about price and has nothing to do with performance. But as Momma Kliff used to say; “Just because something is obvious does not mean people will accept reality”.
We mention this as this morning we read that Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) is touting the benefits of Toujeo over Tresbia from Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO). Per a company press release;
“Sanofi’s Toujeo® met the primary study objective in the first large head-to-head clinical trial1, called BRIGHT study, comparing Toujeo with insulin degludec. Sanofi plans to provide full results in 2018.”
Now we don’t want to say this doesn’t matter but the fact is it doesn’t. These results will not help Sanofi get better formulary access, it will not knock Basaglar off formulary. Nope about the only thing this will do is prompt Novo to do their own study which will conclude that Tresbia is better than Toujeo, which is also useless information but what the heck these companies just love running studies to prove things that won’t change market dynamics.
Next in the when will they learn category comes news from the people at Dance Biopharm who signed a deal with Phillips-Medisize to develop … wait for it …. a connected drug-delivery device for inhaled insulin. See Dance seems to believe they have built a better mouse trap when it comes to inhaled insulin. That it does not matter that Exubera was a multi-billion-dollar failure and that MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD) while doing better of late still has a host of issues with Afrezza.
No, the folks at Dance seem to be living by something Canada Bill Jones, a famous poker player used to say all the time, “It’s morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money.” Never mind that from a commercial perspective inhaled insulin has been a disaster. Never mind that inhaled insulin for all its hype has never come close to the inflated projections of billions in sales. Never mind that the conventional injectable insulin works just fine and is a heck of a lot cheaper. Nope never let the facts get in the way of a good fantasy.
Today we also heard from Lilly who per a press release stated;
“Yesterday marked dosing of the first patient with type 1 diabetes in a feasibility study to evaluate the functionality and safety of an automated insulin delivery (AID) system in development by Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY). The AID system is part of the Connected Diabetes Ecosystem, which is being designed to make diabetes management easier by enabling people to use insulin more effectively.
The AID system is a hybrid closed-loop platform that uses connected devices – an insulin pump with a dedicated controller, dosing algorithm, and continuous glucose monitor – to automate insulin dosing. These components are designed to work together to automatically adjust insulin infusion rates to maintain blood sugar levels within a specified target range.
“This trial is a significant step forward for Lilly’s Connected Care program, moving the Connected Diabetes Ecosystem closer to hopefully becoming available to the millions of people with diabetes who need a simpler, more effective way to use insulin,” said Marie Schiller, vice president, Connected Care and site head, Cambridge Innovation Center.”
Now we won’t say this is not important but what the heck we’re on roll so let’s state the obvious it’s not. Lilly is just joining a long and distinguished list of companies pursuing an artificial pancreas. As we have stated consistently the problem isn’t building the damn thing, the problem is making money selling and supporting the damn thing.
We’d say that by now people would realize it’s not about the toys in the toy box but that would take away all the fun the toymakers are having building their way cool whiz bang cloud enabled toys. The toymakers are excuse the expression like kids let loose in the candy store. Yep they just love playing with these things never once thinking about whether this market isn’t already oversaturated with other way cool whiz bang cloud enabled toys.
So, have it my friends, have fun with your toys as they are so damn cool. All we ask is that you don’t come crying to us when you discover that all you have built is another mouse trap.