NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- MannKind's (MNKD) stock is soaring ahead of the FDA's July 15 decision on whether to approve the biotech company's inhaled insulin drug Afrezza.The stock was up more than 7% today to $10.19 as of 11:45 a.m. Wednesday.
But even the biotech bulls on StockTwits.com are uneasy buying in to a company with a near $3.8 billion market cap and no revenue.
Still, sentiment on the stock is 96% bullish according to StockTwits analytics.
The reason is that the Afrezza approval is believed to be a foregone conclusion. In April, an FDA panel overwhelmingly recommended the drug to treat patients with either type of diabetes, despite some concerns about lung complications from inhaling insulin.
MannKind shares have climbed 151% since April 1, the day before the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drug Advisory Committee announced its recommendation.
$MNKD if every day goes up with 50 cents, we'll end up around 40 till approval day..? Ozgur (@Kafkafnl) Jun. 4 at 10:49 AM
What gives investors some pause about buying in at current levels isn't the risk that the drug will be rejected, but whether the company can successfully market and sell the drug quickly enough to justify its valuation. If there are any signs that the company, while capable of developing a blockbuster drug, can't sell it effectively, then shareholders could sell.
$MNKD Don't want to stop the bull rush but this stock IS up like 50% in past month with approval anticipation. How higher can it go post?? KJ (@saskatrade) Jun. 4 at 10:13 AM
Of course, many on StockTwits believe that MannKind will never have to really sell Afrezza. They are banking that the company will be purchased by a pharmaceutical giant shortly after the drug is approved.
So who might buy MannKind?
The name most often mentioned as a potential acquirer is Merck (MRK). Merck management has said during conference calls that it would augment its pipeline with external opportunities.
$MNKD what big pharma wouldn't want the next insulin therapy. They could make Billions.? Mark Roman (@markromantrader) Jun. 4 at 11:02 AM
$MNKD No one will bid higher than Merck since they have no insulin which will be cannibalized by AFREZZA!!? Joe (@joebyu12) Jun. 4 at 10:38 AM
$MNKD Mann planned for along time, big pharmas love mann, would not be surprised if arrangement already made for partner or buyout.? Mark Turner (@going1green) Jun. 4 at 10:36 AM
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.