Inhaled insulin probably has no particular effects on the central nervous system. But there’s something about the idea of inhaled insulin that makes people lose their minds. That’s the only conclusion I can draw after years of watching this area. Pfizer led the way with a long, expensive collaboration that produced Exubera, the first inhaled insulin to reach the market. And it absolutely bombed, pulled because of catastrophic sale. No one wanted it. But when anyone suggested that this might happen, back before the launch, folks showed up from all over the place to shake their heads in amazement that anyone could doubt such a sure-fire winner (take a look at some of the comments to this old post). Not everyone bought into that, but the folks who did tended to be in all the way.
And the same has been true for Mannkind and their product, Afrezza. I’ve written about them several times, most recently here, and every time you say something bad about them someone will pop up to call you a fool who just doesn’t get the greatness of the product, the company, and of Al Mann himself. Twitter can be a good place to find these people in their natural habitat – buying more stock while wearing Al Mann t-shirts (and I wish that I were making that up). Just try a search there for “#inalmannitrust”, and wonder about what it means that there is such a thing in the first place.
I mention them today because Sanofi’s earnings are out, and by gosh, they’re having trouble moving Afrezza out the door (as had been predicted). Just like last quarter, actually – in fact, not one tiny bit better, despite the slow start for the product and Sanofi’s efforts to turn things around. Speculation already is that they’re going to dump Mannkind as soon as they contractually can, and I wouldn’t be surprised. But the true believers are still hanging in there – 2016 is going to be great, the company’s new listing on the Tel Aviv stock exchange means a big-time buyout is coming (!), everything’s going to start getting wonderful real soon now when people realize that Afrezza is the best drug ever seen by humankind. This is delusional. I know that the stock has moved up and down over time, and that at various points a person could have made a lot of money with it. But that’s true of an awful lot of stocks. In general, though, from here Mannkind looks doomed.