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I have a diverse background—as a financial journalist, resident physician, mixed martial artist, painter, entrepreneur, chemistry instructor and web developer—that enabled me to pioneer the “Integrated Investing Research” approach. I provide consulting to clients, both the retail and... More
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Vincata Enterprises LLC
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Retail Investor 360
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  • MannKind Corporation: Why The Mealtime Insulin Market Will Expand Drastically

    Published at Retail Investor 360: Thursday, 21 August 2014 11:17 Written by Doctor Hung V. Tran, MD, MS. Disclosure: We are long on MNKD.


    The Story. MannKind closed its trading session on Wednesday, August 17, 2014 down by 37 percent from the stock's 52-weeks high despite showing signs of a rebound from last week's precarious trading sessions. The market has been highly pessimistic on MannKind despite Afrezza's positive Affinity Trials data, strong backing from the experts Advisory Committee (ADCOM), approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and recent commercial partnership with a GlobalDiabetes Powerhouse Pharma, namely Sanofi SA ADR (NYSE: SNY). According to the legendary fund manager, Peter Lynch, "investors who sold out when shares price drops will not be able to make money in the market, because the market demands conviction."

    That said, MannKind is a stock for "visionary" investors, who after having performed rigorous data and field research are convicted to ignore market noises,rumors, and "what ifs." A prevailing market opinion is that MannKind is overvalued due to the small $6 billion rapid-acting analogues (RAA or mealtime insulin) market. That might be true now as injecting insulin (Novolog and Humalog) are dominating this market. In 2015, however, when Sanofi's robust sales/marketing teams launch Afrezza, the drug's strong demands will significantly increase that $6 billion figure per se. To fully appreciate this ramification, one should revisit the fundamental science pertains to Afrezza, insulin, and diabetes treatment.


    ... to read more, click on this LINK.

    Aug 21 1:36 PM | Link | Comment!
  • How Sanofi's Growth Strategy Will Catapult Afrezza Into A Blockbuster Drug

    Published at Retail Investor 360: Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:40Written by Doctor Hung V. Tran, MD, MSDisclosure: We are long MNKD and we do not have any financial relationship with any company we cover.

    360 Catalyst Keys

    • Afrezza is one of Sanofi's carefully chosen medicines to catalyze the French Powerhouse Pharma's next leap in earnings. Likewise, Sanofi's other chosen drug is Regeneron's cholesterol lowering drug, Alirocumab
    • Bloomberg sources are suggesting that Sanofi is bidding against GSK to acquire another stellar drug, Pirfenidone, to treat Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (NYSEARCA:IPF).
    • The quality of Sanofi's chosen drugs speaks volumes for the quality and prospects of Afrezza
    • Sanofi's powerhouse sales/marketing teams will deliver three powerful blockbusters (Lantus, Alirocumab, and Afrezza) to the same patients who have multiple coexisting diseases including obesity, high cholesterol, prediabetes, and diabetes
    • Sanofi's elite sales/marketing teams for Lantus already have existing relationships with hospitals, clinics, and physician offices around the world. The teams can sell/market Afrezza with minimal costs, saving both time and money
    • In assessing the global picture, MannKind's 35 percent portion of the 35/65-profit split will be substantial due to the aforementioned Sanofi's synergistic growth strategy.
    • Sanofi's label expansion will catalyze Afrezza's dominant blockbuster sales, because Afrezza is the prime candidate to cover the astoundingly large prediabetes market.
    • Many companies that tried to capture the obesity market directly are delivering disappointing results. A better way to capture obesity is indirectly through diabetes and prediabetes.

    The Story

    The market has been confused regarding Mannkind's recent partnership with Sanofi to commercialize the company's lead drug, Afrezza. MannKind expects to launch Afrezza as treatment for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes as early as the first quarter of 2015.

    Contrary to the market's negativity, the 35/65 profit split for MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD) and the company's commercial partner Sanofi SA ADR (NYSE:SNY), respectively, is favorable for both parties. If Afrezza registers blockbuster sales as projected, then it is highly favorable to receive less as an up front payment but a larger share of the profits - which was the deal MannKind secured. The notion that MannKind should receive 50 percent of the profits is unrealistic, because similar companies receive significantly less than 20 percent of profits.

    In addition, as a rule of thumb, companies that form partnerships early in their lead drug's development usually receive less than 10 percent of the profit. It wasnot coincidental that MannKind delayed closing the partnership deal entail after FDA approval, because members of the management like Dr. Mann are highly experienced in deal-making, and have unparalleled track records of performance. Therefore, investors should smile rather than frown upon this deal.

    It's not unreasonable to conclude that Sanofi acknowledges Afrezza's capability to replace Lantus' $6 billion in revenues, as Lantus's patent will expire in February 2015. Otherwise, why did the French Powerhouse Pharma, the most dominant global diabetes leader, choose Afrezza over other diabetes drugs?

    (click to enlarge)

    Source: Sanofi

    To read more, please click on this LINK ...

    Aug 20 8:57 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Revisiting Arena, Orexigen, And VIVUS: Shareholders Can Recoup Their Losses By Invest In MannKind

    Published: Monday, 18 August 2014 23:08Written by Doctor Hung V. Tran, MD, MS


    Disclosure: We are long on MNKD and we do not have any financial relationship with any companies we cover.

    360 Catalyst Key

    • 360 Biotech's contrarian thesis on the weight-loss drug developers published in 2013 was not well received but turned out valid.
    • Stock promoters who were overly exuberant on Arena, Orexigen, and/or VIVUS misled investors. However, they now spin the facts to bash on these same companies despite share price having dropped substantially.
    • The drastic share price declines widen the margin of safety for Arena and VIVUS making them safer investments than in 2013. Nonetheless, it is impossible to forecast when share prices could stabilize (at least for 360 and Warren Buffett)
    • Investors who believe in the vast obesity market are right, as the potential is still there … but the easier and proven way to capture obesity is via the prediabetes and diabetes markets.
    • Lantus (the top selling basal insulin for treating diabetes) is facing patent expiration soon. Most other diabetes drugs makers are either too big (little growth potential) or too little (precarious investments).
    • MannKind is the most prudent choice for investing in diabetes and obesity because the company is medium-sized. Now that MannKind has command of the vast armies of Sanofi sales/marketing reps to deliver Afrezza, a revolutionary diabetes treatment the world has yet to see, the potential for MannKind is limitless.


    Since 2013 when we published our first short thesis on three obesity drugs makers (Orexigen, Arena, and VIVUS) they panned out as forecasted and did not perform even in the full swing of the bull market - when most stocks earned substantial rewards for shareholders. We were disappointed that our contrarian research on Orexigen and the obesity-drug makers were unwelcome in 2013 due to the market's exuberant expectation during the time. Nonetheless, we remained convicted in our thesis despite market noises.

    Investors who bought into the grandeur promises while neglecting the data paid dearly with their own cash. VIVUS shed 66 percent in shares price; Orexigen lost 18 percent; and likewise, Arena is down 36 percent since last year. Some market broadcasters disappeared while other promoters like EnhydrisPECorp attempted to spin facts and taken the imprudent position to bash Arena, VIVUS, and/or Orexigen.

    To read more, please click this LINK.


    Aug 20 8:53 AM | Link | Comment!
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