MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) has acquired the exclusive rights to develop and market the drug Afrezza inhalation powder, from Sanofi. The decision became effective immediately, but would be executed in a way, so that it does not cause any hindrance to patients in their treatments. As such, MannKind is not expected to start distribution until the 3Q2016, until when Sanofi can meet the need through its existing inventory.
The drug was initially approved by the FDA in 2014 and is a quick acting, inhalable insulin, targeted at adult patients suffering from diabetes. Afrezza is designed to be quickly absorbed into the blood stream, by being rapidly dissolved in the deep lung. As such, the drug is capable of reaching optimal insulin levels, within 10-15 minutes of intake. This way a patient can control his post-meal blood sugar spikes quickly.
However, it is not recommended for those with lung problems or those who smoke or recently quit smoking. It is also cautioned that the drug may not be substituted for long-acting insulin; instead it should be used in combination with it. The CEO of MannKind, Matthew Pfeffer, stated that this is a landmark for MannKind. He also expressed a thrill at making the drug a successful treatment. The CEO also revealed that the company would be providing a series of updates on the drug very soon.
It is important to note here that Afrezza was developed in collaboration with Sanoffi, who was providing the much needed finance for the drug. However, with Sanofi out of the picture, the company would need to make sure that it is in a strong cash position, to market the drug successfully. Sanofi has also cited a patient dropout rate of 65%, as one of the reasons for not pursuing the drug any further. As such Mannkind might need to look for loans to capitalize on the situation, which would not be easy to find, given the company’s current financial status.
MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) closed at a share price of $1.57, after losing 7.10%, during the April 5 trading session.