At long last, it's over.
Large pharmaceutical players Pfizer
Originally, Exubera had been divvied up among partners Pfizer, Aventis, and NektarTherapeutics
I realize a lot of investors will want to know who "won," but I think this could be a case where both parties basically got what they wanted. If you had listened to Sanofi management over the past two years or so, it wasn't hard to detect some notes of skepticism regarding the whole inhaled insulin field -- though perhaps you could argue that was just fatalism on the part of management when it realized it'd have to give up its stake.
Can Exubera be a billion-dollar drug? Maybe. There's definitely a crying need for better insulin delivery alternatives, and clinical studies have shown that patients do like to use these inhaled devices.
There are some flies in the ointment. First, the Food and Drug Administration seems to be dragging its feet a bit on the Exubera approval process -- suggesting that the FDA may be a bit nervous. Second, many people think that the Lilly
With that in mind, it's probably unreasonable to expect $1 billion or more in annual sales from Exubera until 2009 or 2010 at the earliest. Accordingly, I think both parties are getting a pretty fair shake -- Pfizer wants the distribution rights all to itself, and Sanofi is getting a nice chunk of change for its time and trouble.
For more related Foolishness:
- Pfizer Wins, a Sector Rejoices
- Diabetics Breathing Easier
- Sniffing Out a Possible Diabetes Blockbuster
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson owns shares of Sanofi-Aventis but has no financial interest in any other stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.