After Exubera, Uncertainty Reigns
Clinical trials for competing products haven't gone on long enough to assure that these drugs won't affect the lungs. Analysts say the Exubera experience has sensitized the FDA to lung safety.
Among competitors, analysts appear to be the most impressed with the scientific progress of MannKind's Technosphere insulin. But MannKind hasn't found a partner to help absorb the research and development costs.
Back in August, MannKind executives told analysts that collaboration discussions were going slower than expected partly because potential partners were worried that Technosphere might get the same insurer rebuff as Exubera. Late-stage clinical trial results are expected in mid-2008, and MannKind might file an application with the FDA late next year.
The Exubera decision "is very bad" for MannKind because Technosphere represents almost all of its market valuation, says LeCroy. He has a sell rating on MannKind, a buy rating on Nektar and a hold rating on Pfizer."We do not think MannKind will be able to partner
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