What: Shareholders of MannKind Corporation (MNKD -3.40%), a small-cap biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on inhaled insulin, had a rough April. The company's stock plunged by more than 15% during the period, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
So what: It was a busy month for the diabetes-focused company, and management had plenty of updates to share with investors.
- MannKind officially regained the commercial rights to Afrezza back from Sanofi. However, Sanofi will continue to distribute Afrezza to patients until its existing inventory stock is fully depleted, at which time MannKind will take over. The transition is expected to occur in the third quarter of this year.
- The company added two senior employees to its commercial organization including a VP of marketing and a VP of market value, access, and trade. Both new hires bring a substantial amount of diabetes experience to MannKind and will report to COO Michael Castagna.
MannKind also held another special call with investors in April to provide more details about the company's finances and commercialization strategy for Afrezza.
Here are some details that investors need to know:
- MannKind has partnered with Touchpoint Solutions to hire a nationwide direct-sales team to educate the market about Afrezza. The company expects to hire between 50 and 70 reps initially.
- The new reps will primarily target endocrinologists that treat a lot of patients who have diabetes. MannKind hinted that Sanofi did not place an emphasis on targeting these endocrinologists when they launched Afrezza, despite the fact that endocrinologists accounted for 40% of total prescriptions.
- The company plans on working with a variety of spirometry vendors to ensure physicians have easy access to them in their clinic.
- MannKind launched a co-pay card program on April 5 to ensure patients who used Sanofi's program can still receive help with their costs if needed. MannKind plans to launch a new program of its own in the third quarter.
- The company will place a special focus on expanding its presence within the pediatric population. This may include seeking additional label expansion claims for Afrezza.
And yet, despite providing investors with all of this information, the market remained skeptical about the company's chances of success.
Now what: MannKind is currently in the middle of a massive strategy shift. Meanwhile, since more than 100 million shares of its stock have been sold short, which represents roughly 37% of its publicly traded float, the share price is likely to remain extremely volatile.
Investors will get another update from the company on May 9 when the company reports its first quarter earnings.