Biotech pioneer Alfred Mann resigns as Executive Chairman of struggling MannKind
- Longtime biotech entrepreneur Alfred Mann has resigned his position as a board member and Executive Chairman of MannKind, the company announced on Friday.
- Mann has had a rollercoaster ride through the executive ranks of MannKind, which he also founded and bears his name. Mann was forced to return as CEO of the company in late 2015 after chief executive Hakan Edstrom resigned just 10 months into the job.
- Mann eventually handed over the reigns to current CEO (and former MannKind CFO) Matthew Pfeffer in early January 2016. He will remain as a non-executive adviser to the company, which has been struggling mightily amid its disappointing (sales-wise) inhaled insulin product Afrezza.
While MannKind still has support from a cadre of enthusiastic believers, the company has been facing ongoing financial struggles capped off by the revelation that French pharma giant Sanofi had broken off its collaboration agreement on Afrezza at the beginning of 2016.
MannKind has sounded a defiant note on Afrezza. But barring a stark reversal in uptake, the outlook appears bleak.
At the end of the day, however, the 90-year-old Mann's towering place in biopharma has long been cemented. He's founded 17 different companies, including healthcare firms focused on vulnerable populations (such as Second Sight, which produces retinal prosthetics) and aerospace companies.