MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) just got a new vote of confidence, as H.C. Wainwright analyst Oren Livnat believes this drug maker’s diabetes asset could carve out a crucial footprint in a big insulin market. With a robust tech muscle behind the inhaled insulin drug and probable long exclusivity weighing in its favor, once Afrezza can get back on track (which already looks positive with a new label in tow), Livnat cheers there is “a breath of new life with Afrezza turnaround story.”
While “they say you only get to launch a drug once,” thanks to a management refresh and “a game-changing new label just approval last week,” MannKind’s Afrezza would finally be getting the recognition its “innovation” deserves, says Livnat.
As such, the analyst comes out with new bullish coverage in this biotech player’s corner, initiating a Buy on MannKind stock with a price target of $7, which represents a 4% increase from current levels. (To watch Livnat’s track record, click here)
Offering some frame of reference, Livnat highlights that MannKind’s sole approved inhaled, rapid-acting insulin (RAI) for diabetes out on the market has been close to two decades and $2 billion plus in the making.
“Upon FDA approval in 2014, MannKind was a high flyer with a $4B market cap; it secured a blockbuster partnership with Sanofi, but a very disappointing partner launch resulted in Afrezza getting returned in 2016, forcing MannKind to regroup and become a commercial operation itself. During that time, MNKD stock dropped 98% peak to trough (vs. S&P +22%) and the Street largely wrote off Afrezza and the stock. […] The product is already showing new signs of life, even before the new label impact, and we expect MannKind to soon recapitalize and eventually accelerate Afrezza growth to peak sales more than $725M in the U.S. If Afrezza can get on course, given its likely extremely long exclusivity, and the strong underlying technology platform, MannKind could go from knocked out to taken out by a larger player,” wagers the analyst.