MannKind's Latest Data

Aug.15.13 | About: MannKind Corporation (MNKD)

I haven't written much about MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD) recently. This has been a long, long, expensive saga to develop an inhaled-insulin delivery system (Afrezza), which is an idea that all by itself has seems to have swallowed several billion dollars and never given anything back yet. (That link above will send you to some of the story, and this one will tell you something about the disastrous failure of the only inhaled insulin to reach the market so far.)

In 2011, MannKind looked as if they were circling the drain. But (as has been the case many times before), more money was heaved into what might still turn out to be an incinerator, and they kept going. Just in the last few days, they've released another batch of Phase III data, which looked positive. You can see from the year-to-date stock chart that people have been anticipating this, which might account for the way that MNKD hasn't exactly taken off on the news. The stocked jumped at the open yesterday, then spent the rest of the day wandering down, and opened today right back where it was before the news came out.

People might be worried about possible effects on lung function, which show up in the data (FEV1 as well as a side effect of coughing). But there are potentially even bigger concerns in the number for HbA1c and fasting glucose. A closer look at the data shows that MannKind's product may not have clearly established itself versus the injected-insulin competition. As that FiercePharma story says, this might not keep the product from being approved, but it could give it a rough time in the marketplace (and give MannKind a rough time finding a big partner).

I wonder if there are any investors -- other than Al Mann -- who have stuck with this company all the way. If so, I wonder what effect that's had on their well-being. It has been a long, bizarre ride, and no one knows how many more curves and washed-out bridges might still be out there.

Disclosure: None.