Meet the Most Bullish MannKind Investor. Ever.

This article isn't about me. I'm not the most bullish MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD  ) investor ever.

But I have to start with a confession about myself: I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

I think CEOs should have skin in the game; owning a portion of their company helps align the CEO with the rest of its shareholders. And yet, the bullish nature of Alfred Mann, who has beneficial interest in around half of his namesake biotech, scares the crap out of me.

Check out what Mann told PharmExec about the potential approval of MannKind's inhaled insulin Afrezza, "I would expect it to be approved in mid-April [2014]. On our schedule it looks like April 14, but it could be a few days before or after."

Calling out the day of the approval -- before you've even submitted the data to the Food and Drug Administration -- it doesn't get much more bullish than that.

Before you hit the buy button though, consider this quote: "MannKind Corp. expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve its experimental inhaled insulin device 'within days' of inspecting a manufacturing plant that supplies the insulin, the company's chief executive said on Tuesday."

That ones from a Reuters article in 2010, a few months before the FDA rejected Afrezza. During that interview, Mann even made a comment about talking with the FDA about the drug's label. That's a not-so-secret code between CEOs and investors that the FDA is in the final stages of approval; there's no reason for the agency to be worried about the label if it's not going to approve the drug anyway.

As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Even if Mann uses the secret knock, I'd advise against letting him in the clubhouse.

Of course, I'm already a card carrying member of the "Afrezza will be approved" club, but Mann saying that it'll be approved doesn't give me any more confidence.

In fact, given his track record, it's hard to take any of the bullish things he says seriously. My main concern with Afrezza's potential is that doctors won't be willing to switch patients from injectable insulin -- Eli Lilly's (NYSE: LLY  ) Humalog and Novo Nordisk's (NYSE: NVO  ) Novolog -- to inhaled Afrezza because of worries about potentially unknown side effects. The caution will create a really slow launch until doctors become comfortable with the new mode of delivery.

Mann blows off the idea, citing that Afrezza is a better product. For his sake, I hope he's right.

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Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 1:28 AM, rajalonghorn wrote:

    This is by far the most asinine thing I have ever read on Motley fool. "given his track record, it's hard to take any of the bullish things he says seriously". Are you serious? a Multi billionaire who has funded 17 companies in his career, sold 9 of them for a total of $8 billion and had 2 other who were publicly traded. That is what you consider a terrible record? You are either the most arrogant or the most ignorant individual in the world.

    The fact that most Physicians don't put their patients on Insulin until their A1C is nearly 8 is a big deal in the Type II diabetes market. The real customer base will be in Type II diabetics, not type 1. Also after thousands of patients being treated, your concern is an IMAGINARY side effect yet to be revealed?

    The paradigm shift this will bring to the type II market will be amazing. Type II patients have their doses for oral agents increased to the point where they develop insulin resistance or until the body can no longer keep up with the demand. Starting these patients on Insulin earlier during the disease process is paramount in preventing the progression of the disease.

    Patients with A1C levels at 6.5 start having symptoms of Diabetic retinopathy, yet most physicians wait until A1C of 8 to start insulin. The reason is outlined the CDC report and primarily related to patients not wanting to take insulin due to a myriad of reasons including the psychological pain associated with taking needle shots.

    I have treated plenty of patients with diabetes including children, adults and geriatrics. Majority of these patients are non compliant with their meds that we come across. Kids hate the painful shots. A young girl might have a date and doesn't take insulin because she doesn't want the bruises to show on her abdomen. Some elderly patients have trouble with giving themselves injections due to lack of finger dexterity and chronic weakness.

    After reading your less than well thought out article, it makes me question your reputation as a physician. However, I suppose, the bottom 10% of the graduating class are still considered physicians. In the future, I would suggest actually taking the time to read up on a guy like AL Mann and his record before you insult them.

    I highly doubt that this comment will actually be published due to the fact, this site along with multiple others is a complete scam for pumpers/shorts to push their agenda on a public domain.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 6:54 AM, sayhey44 wrote:

    If Mr. Orelli's only concern is that doctors won't perscribe Afrezza then Mr. Orelli clearly does not understand the power of the media. A few well placed TV ads touting Afrezza as a paradigm shift in the treatment of diabetes will fix Mr. Orelli's concern. When diabetics here; NO more needles; normal fasting blood sugar levels; less hypoglycemia; and the potential to STOP the progression of the disease, patients will be knocking down the doors of their doctors for Afrezza.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 8:32 AM, sprice61 wrote:

    Mr. Orelli,

    Its one thing for Mr. Mann to sound confident and "hype" his company. As CEO thats his job but I will give you some his comments in the past were a bit over the top. But Mr. Mann puts his money where his mouth is. To the tune of $1 billion invested. Would have been prudent to point that out.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 1:00 PM, stclark98 wrote:

    Your statement "because of worries about potentially unknown side effects" is halarious.

    The FDA and clinical trials process are just the reason the US Govt. have these checks and balances in place-TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE.

    You need to go back in time and review just exactly why the additional clinical trial was requested. It was because the method of delivery was changed not the Afressa.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 7:23 PM, ted7441 wrote:

    As a medical professional, when i mention to insulin dependent patients about a non needle delivery system they all ask when can i prescribe it for them!

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2013, at 10:29 PM, JUDYREITZ wrote:

    I have been a member of Motley Fool for a while and have read many of your articles and advice. I am like many of your other investors, a non-pro - just an individual looking after my own investments because I know I care more about "me" than the professionals out there.

    I was very interested in Mannkind from the first time I read about them, but Motley Fool was really making this sound questionable at best. I moved on and went to other things and have made a bit of money elsewhere.

    I was still very fascinated with this story. I liked the concept of inhaled insulin(I am not diabetic), I liked the name of MANNKIND (because we have to believe in that)....but I did move on to other investments because of what I read on Motley Fool.

    One afternoon, in August 2013 my older sister called me and was very excited. She is diabetic and she has been having a hard time to get her insulin dosage level....her numbers are all over the place. She has only been taking insulin shots for about a year and she hates them. Her stomach is black and blue and she does use the newer pen-type injector that is suppose to be fine needles and no pain. Well, I have seen the bruising on her tummy and it is upsetting for me to see...........back to the phone call. She had just seen Afrezza on Fox(I believe) and told me all about it. She was so excited and I said to her that I am not diabetic, WHY was she going on like that about that drug??.....her excitement was very obvious.........She said, "I think you need to go invest in it because this inhaler sounds wonderful". She was acting like Santa had just delivered her the best present of her life..........So this is for the people that do not think diabetics will be receptive to an inhaler........You are wrong!

    I then went back to Motley Fool and realized that was the company that had already caught my eye and I just couldn't get it out of my head. From the first time I read about Mannkind and Afrezza, I was excited about this insulin. I saw a great potential to change the lives of many diabetics, but I let myself be swayed by the negative comments of Motley Fool writers.

    I can only buy what I believe in and we all have to judge for ourselves in the end.

    Al Mann is a remarkable man in every sense of the word and after doing a lot of research on this brilliant man, I question how anyone could doubt him. He does put his money where is his mouth is. I don't know of any other individual that has contributed so much to diabetes research and improved the quality of life for so many...........in more ways than one!

    Afreeza is not only painless, but a better rapid acting insulin.....and I do believe in Mannkind........I made up my own mind and I believe the reward is worth the risk. Like I said earlier, I have to believe in my investment. I believe a lot of diabetics are going to start feeling a lot better in 2014 with the FDA approval of Afrezza.

    Do your homework. Decide for yourself and don't let these Fools sway you. Go see what Dr.Jay Skyler has to say about Afreeza and how this super fast insulin will help diabetics. The video is on YouTube. He is an expert and explains it in a very simple way so it is easy to understand.

  • Report this Comment On September 23, 2013, at 2:34 PM, JUDYREITZ wrote:

    ............And speaking of bulls........Isn't Warren Buffet the biggest bull of all?...........And what does he say? "When others are greedy, be afraid. When others are afraid, be greedy." Good to know you're scared............I'm feeling even more greedy now! Thank you!

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 9:07 AM, afrezzauser wrote:

    Mannkind wont have to worry about doctors prescribing Afrezza. They will have no choice as patients like myself will demand it.

    As a trial patient on Afrezza for 6 months I am 0 interest in continuing my treatments on Novolog or Humolog. 0%.....Counting down the days till I can live very close to a non-diabetic person again.

    12 min onset.

    No lows for me.

    No severe highs..very few highs compared to Novolog.

    No more planning of meals.

    Best Fasting readings for me in 10 years.

    No more fear of driving or going to sleep.

    I could make a list of several pages on how Afrezza changed my life.

    So even if docs are slow to take up a new treatment eventually patients will find out and they will switch over in droves. I had to use it to believe it and got on the trials and yes it worked better than Al Mann advertised. Maybe he is bullish on the stock but he cant be bullish enough on Afrezza.

    He received similar garbage on the insulin pumps and now what doc does not prescribe them? 1/3rd of all type 1s in the world use them. Big pharma gave up on the insulin pump after deaths on trials but Al Mann pressed on and got it done. The same will be with Afrezza and my life hinges on it. I am hypo unaware from all the swings on Novolog and I have too many dangerous lows now. On Afrezza in 6 months I had 0 severe lows.

    Afrezza will be approved.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 2:11 PM, TelsaRowe wrote:

    Most bullish mnkd investor ever? Search youtube for "mnkd 200,000"

    guy bought $200,000 worth of mnkd calls back in January when the stock was $2. That is the most bullish mnkd investor ever. Agree with posters above that this is one stupid article.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 10:00 AM, aracer wrote:

    Orelli and his pals are manipulating retail investors out of MNKD on a regular basis by placement of articles like this on MF and elsewhere.

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