Could the Sanofi CEO's firing doom a $150 million inhaled insulin deal?
- The Street's Adam Feuerstein reports that at least one diabetes market analyst expects that former Sanofi chief Chris Viehbacher's ouster could spell trouble for the company's $150 million marketing deal for U.S.-based MannKind's inhaled insulin, Afrezza.
- In an earnings call on Monday, MannKind execs tried to brush past those worries, claiming that Sanofi is working with the company to launch Afrezza next year.
- But analyst David Kliff of Diabetic Investor says that Viehbacher was the only reason that Afrezza deal even existed in the first place, and that his replacement is likely to scrutinize the arrangement.
Kliff claims that Viehbacher pushed through the MannKind deal over Sanofi board members' opposition, and that the French diabetes pharma giant is likely to reassess this particular marketing partnership.
"With Viehbacher now gone and Sanofi expected to bring in a change agent with diabetes experience it's quite possible that this new person could reexamine the deal and decide it's just not worth the effort, not to mention the capital investment needed," Kliff reportedly wrote to his investor audience.
"A critical date here is November 20 when the company holds their analyst day, a day which according to MannKind management Afrezza will be big part of, the star of the show so to speak."