MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) announced that it has completed the validation of two additional filling lines for the manufacture of Afrezza(R) (insulin human) inhalation powder. Material produced during the validation runs, including the recently approved 12 unit cartridges, will be supplied to Sanofi to support the launch of the new dosage strength, which is expected later this quarter.
MannKind CEO Hakan Edstrom noted, “With the completion of the validation effort, which began last quarter, we can support a demand of more than 300 million cartridges per year,”. Furthermore, “The addition of the 12 unit cartridge will provide patients with another option to receive their prescribed dose.”
Despite the positive news, MannKind shares are down 2% to $4.37 as of 12:16 PM EDT today. The fall appears related to concerns about Afrezza script data. According to the latest IMS prescription data for the week ending July 24, 2015, Afrezza total scripts were down 3.9% wk/wk.
For comparison, Humalog (relevant competitor) total scripts were up 0.9% wk/wk, Novolog total scripts were down 0.8% wk/wk, and Apidra total scripts were down 2.9% wk/wk.
According to TheStreet, unlike Afrezza, Sanofi’s other major diabetes drug launch this year is performing reasonably well. Toujeo, a basal (long-acting) insulin, delivered sales of €13 million and €20 million in the second quarter and first half of 2015, respectively.
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