NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Analysts and investors are gaining confidence in MannKind (MNKD). CEO Alfred Mann updated the investment community at a health care conference Wednesday about the progress of the biotech company's insulin inhaler, Afrezza, which is seeking FDA approval. And investors on StockTwits.com were impressed by his speech and promise of partnerships to distribute the drug.
The stock was the most-discussed ticker on StockTwits.com Wednesday afternoon. Bullish sentiment increased to 96%, according to site analytics. Shares rose nearly 7% by the end of trading, closing at $7.01 on Wednesday.
Investors said that Mann sounded confident that FDA approval would come soon. They argued that a drug that would allow diabetics to forgo needles, at least at mealtimes, would be considered needed enough to warrant fast track approval. An unwillingness to administer repeated shots is a main reason diabetics do not comply with dosing guidelines.
Initially, investors raised some concerns that the FDA would focus on lung complications from the insulin inhaler and not approve the product for sale in the U.S. However, an FDA committee voted unanimously last month to approve the drug for people with type 2 diabetes. All but one committee member recommended approving the drug for type 2 diabetes.
$MNKD Whether it goes down or up, you're still going to make money - as long as you're in. FDA approval could come at anytime.? Justin Lynch (@MyPlainUsername) May. 14 at 02:23 PM
An analyst upgrade also helped fuel bullish sentiment. On Wednesday, Piper Jaffray upgraded MannKind from underweight to neutral. It raised its price target $4.50 to $6.50.
Some investors pointed out that MannKind is still something of a speculative lottery stock. The company's success rides nearly entirely on Afrezza approval, as it has only two drugs in the pipeline, both inhaled forms of insulin. If the FDA decides that lung complications are too severe to approve the drug, then Mannkind would have little value.