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Biotech Stock Mailbag: Exact Sciences, Galena, Titan, Arena, Breakthrough Therapy

Arena bulls and bears are both annoyed about the long delay in DEA scheduling for Belviq, but make no mistake about it, bears expect Belviq to launch soon, so the announcement -- whenever it comes -- will not be a surprise. Eisai will pay Arena $65 million when Belviq is launched. Again, this is well known, so it's not surprise to anyone. I've read some articles insisting the Belviq launch and $65 million payment will spark a short squeeze. Why would that happen when the Arena short thesis is focused on poor Belviq sales, not the drug's launch?

@cantex3840 asks, "What on earth is holding Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE - Get Report) up here?"

Hopium. It's a powerful drug. I'm still waiting for Ampio to explain how a 12-week study of Optina in diabetic macular edema will be sufficient to secure an FDA approval filing. Ampio's PR guy Rick Giles is usually pretty good about responding to my emails but not in this instance.

Carroll R. writes, "I just want to express my disappointment at how Mr. Feuerstein failed to use facts to condemn Afrezza to failure. All of the latest scientific research shows the efficacy and safety of Afrezza, and patient surveys show that as many as 75% would switch or begin to use Afrezza due to the ease of use and efficacy and speed of metabolism of the drug. Mr.Feuerstein's continued misuse of connections to Exubera, with its bulky and difficult to use applicator and complicated instructions for use made it a failure, not that it was inhaled."

MannKind (MNKD) supporters -- I like to call them the Al Mann-iacs for their cultish devotion to the company's founder -- live in an echo chamber where all diabetics are clamoring for Afrezza. Facts paint a gloomier picture for Mannkind, which I described last week with the assistance of diabetes expert David Kliff. The Al Mann-iacs are running through a mine field without a map.They've been warned, but I don't expect they'll stop until it's too late. We've seen this sad story play out in countless other retail cult stocks. Some people never learn.

If you're wondering why the MannKind's stock price is going up, it's largely due to short seller buy-ins caused by a big spike in the cost of borrowing shares. In other words, this is not a demand-driven move. -- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

Follow Adam Feuerstein on Twitter.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.
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