MannKind CFO: We're searching for a new Afrezza marketing partner after Sanofi's departure
- Following an announcement by Mannkind of the termination of its licensing agreement with Sanofi for the inhaled insulin drug Afrezza, MannKind's CFO said the company would seek a new partner and continue to market the drug.
- Despite the significant struggles MannKind faced in 2015, the CFO, Matthew Pfeffer reassured investors on a call that "this is not the end of the line for Afrezza or Mannkind by any means."
- However, Afrezza has failed to meet sales forecast and mustered only 5 million euros in sales during the first nine months of last year. MannKind's stock fell 28.5% in trading yesterday, dropping below $1.00 per share.
MannKind's CFO put on a optimistic front on a call with investors yesterday despite the dire outlook for the company. Speaking in place of the newly appointed CEO, Duane Desisto (who was not on the call), Pfeffer emphasized Sanofi's decision to terminate the agreement would not create any new financial obligations for MannKind, nor would it require MannKind to repay any upfront or milestone payments from the now defunct licensing deal.
With Sanofi pulling out, all right to market and sell will be returned to MannKind by the end of the notice period, no later than July 4, 2016. Pfeffer indicated the company would consider other domestic or international marketing arrangements, but its uncertain who would be interested after weak sales of its flagship drug Afrezza.
Pfeffer said the company will end 2015 with between $59 and $60 million in cash, which typically would be enough to fund the company into the second half of 2016. However, "[MannKind is] already taking steps to extend this runway much further," Pfeffer said.
Sanofi originally agreed to its exclusive licensing agreement with Mannking in August of 2014, paying $150 million upfront with $775 million in milestone payments. However, not all of that money has been paid to Mannkind, leaving it struggling to obtain funding. In November, MannKind sold 50 million shares of common stock on the Tel Aviv stock exchange to raise money.
In the meantime, MannKind will work with Sanofi to ensure "the smooth and orderly transition of development and commercialization activities related to Afrezza."
Pfeffer took no questions on the investor call but said the company would present and answer questions at next week's JPMorgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco.
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