Where’s the love?

Where’s the love?

While some may consider Valentine’s Day a Hallmark holiday tomorrow is supposed to be a day for lovers which got Diabetic Investor thinking perhaps we should show a little love for our wine drinking friends in France and their partner MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD). That perhaps we’ve been overly harsh on the soap opera known as Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) as after all they based not far from Paris, that beautiful city known for love.

Then again maybe Diabetic Investor is right and Afrezza will go down as another failed attempt by our wine drinking friends at a diabetes product that’s not named Lantus. Given the attention this partnership is getting and the strong opinions on the prospects for what shares of MannKind are actually worth Diabetic Investor sees a parallel with the much anticipated movie; Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Now just in case there is anyone who’s not familiar with Fifty Shades and we suppose there are some who aren’t the first installment of this trilogy is now a movie.  A movie which has been so widely anticipated that advance online sales are setting records. Yes women, and likely a few stray men, are chilling their champagne and making sure they have plenty of batteries as they prepare for this mega-event.

The parallel we see between Afrezza and Fifty Shades is neither can live up to the anticipation. In our unscientific discussions with women who’ve read the book the general consensus is the movie won’t come close to matching the book. That seeing Christen Grey in the flesh, won’t match the visions these women had of Christen. That no matter how steamy the sex scenes may be, and based on the reviews they are steamy, actually seeing Christen tie up Anastasia won’t match the visions these women had while reading the book.

The same goes for Afrezza one of the most widely anticipated diabetes drug launches in recent memory. True believers see Afrezza is guaranteed blockbuster, believing there is no way an inhaled insulin can fail. Like the women who fantasize about having Christen tie them up and take control, the Afrezza believers fantasize about physicians prescribing Afrezza to every one of their patients who use insulin. They fantasize that every patient new to insulin therapy will be put on Afrezza just because it’s inhaled rather than injected.

Yet like the movie Diabetic Investor doesn’t believe the reality of Afrezza sales will match the fantasy. Just as women will be disappointed that the Christen they see on the screen isn’t the Christen they imagined while reading the book, Afrezza sales won’t come anywhere near what Afrezza supporters believe they will be. Those physicians they see writing Afrezza scripts with reckless abandon must live in the real world, That they must deal with things like a black box warning, additional tests for any patient they put on Afrezza, a trier 3 formulary position and cheaper insulin alternatives.

The real world will also interfere with the MannKind fantasy as the company even with the Sanofi partnership has issues. Saying MannKind is on solid financial footing is like saying Fifty Shades is literary masterpiece. Yes Diabetic Investor did actually read the first installment of Fifty Shades and while we’re not a literary critic we think it’s safe to say Fifty Shades did not become a mega-hit because it was well written.

Fifty Shades is the ultimate fantasy taking women, and perhaps some men, to places they have never been. The trilogy allowed these women to escape from their everyday lives and into a world they could only imagine. Yet the real world is what these women went back to after reading the books. A real world which was not as exciting or sexy as they world Christen Grey lived in. The movie is now here so these women can relive the fantasy and debate over whether the film version of Christen lived up to the book version.

The biggest difference between Fifty Shades and Afrezza is the movie actually stands a good chance of being commercially successful, while Afrezza has little chance. Based on advanced sales, all the hype and the fact that this movie is based on the first of three books we can almost guarantee there will be more Fifty Shades movies. Afrezza on the other hand is actually a redo of movie Diabetic Investor has seen before.

Yes years ago another inhaled insulin came to market and like today everyone thought there was no way it could fail. Analysts projected billions in sales and investors drank the kool-aid. Like today everyone just assumed that because patients did not have to inject this drug would be a mega-blockbuster. Like today these believers ignored many of the issues this drug had. They believed since mighty Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) was selling it billions in sales were a slam dunk.

The only problem was the fantasy did come close to matching reality and the Exubera disaster ended up costing Pfizer a cool $4 billion.

As we have said many times Afrezza is a far better product than Exubera, a better insulin and better delivery system. However this does not mean Afrezza will do much better than Exubera as market dynamics have changed dramatically since Exubera came and went. Afrezza is also handicapped as unlike Pfizer, Sanofi’s track record in diabetes sucks. Simply put in this movie remake, the actors and directors may be different but the ending is going to be the same.

So Happy Valentine’s Day everyone and to all those women, and few men, who see Fifty Shades enjoy the fantasy as when Monday rolls around it’s back to the reality.