Investors Breathe Easy After MannKind Conference, Promised Partnerships

Analysts and investors are gaining confidence in MannKind, $MNKD.

CEO Alfred Mann updated the investment community at a healthcare conference Wednesday about the progress of the biotech company’s insulin inhaler, Afrezza, which is seeking FDA-approval. And investors on were impressed by his speech and promise of partnerships to distribute the drug.

$MNKD Josh Here @mantrade Conference Quote "There will be 2 partners, global and US." Bullish

— brad simon (@greglawguy) May. 14 at 01:41 PM

The stock was the most discussed ticker on Wednesday afternoon. Bullish sentiment increased to 96%, according to site analytics. Shares rose nearly 7% by the end of trading.

Investors said that Mann sounded confident that FDA-approval would come soon. They argued that a drug that would allow diabetics to forgo needles, at least at mealtimes, would be considered needed enough to warrant fast track approval. An unwillingness to administer repeated shots is a main reason diabetics do not comply with dosing guidelines.

$MNKD @dollarbills288 No More Needles- This Will Revolutionize The Diabetes Market. AGREE.

— todd pressman (@supermanjoe) May. 14 at 02:35 PM

Initially, investors raised some concerns that the FDA would focus on lung complications from the insulin inhaler and not approve the product for sale in the U.S. However, an FDA committee voted unanimously last month to approve the drug for people with type 2 diabetes. All but one committee member recommended approving the drug for type 2 diabetes.

$MNKD Whether it goes down or up, you're still going to make money – as long as you're in. FDA approval could come at anytime.

— Justin Lynch (@MyPlainUsername) May. 14 at 02:23 PM

An analyst upgrade also helped fuel bullish sentiment. On Wednesday, Piper Jaffray upgraded MannKind from underweight to neutral. It raised its price target $4.50 to $6.50.

Some investors pointed out that MannKind is still something of a speculative, lottery stock. The company’s success rides nearly entirely on Afrezza approval as it has only two drugs in the pipeline, both inhaled forms of insulin. If the FDA decides that lung complications are too severe to approve the drug, then Mannkind would have little value.

@Blakej01 The double or triple break into 7's feels good for longs.Piper upgrade was silly but at least an upgrade. Still speculative play

— Danny Beee (@CashSteroids) May. 14 at 01:31 PM

But few investors saw that happening after hearing Wednesday’s conference.

@Blakej01 Partnership announcement = boom, FDA approval = boom. And there will be plenty of other catalysts down the road, IMO.

— Alex Vazquez (@alexvazquez2121) May. 14 at 02:33 PM


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