H.C. Wainwright analyst Oren Livnat is out today with a bullish research note on shares of MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD), after the distressed insulin maker presented additional data for Afrezza from the STAT study at the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 78th Scientific Sessions. The STAT study involved 60 patients with Type 1 diabetes and is the first randomized, controlled study to use continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) with Afrezza.
This study shows that the use of Afrezza at mealtimes, and as needed following meals, provides significant improvement in postprandial glucose (PPG) when compared to mealtime insulin aspart in Type 1 diabetes patients who are using continuous glucose monitoring.
Livnat commented, “We believe this was an eye-opening experience for many that Afrezza’s defining differentiation isn’t that it’s inhalable, rather that it really is the best meal-time insulin, full stop. Afrezza is the only truly ultra-rapid-acting insulin that most closely mimics healthy endogenous insulin action, and we don’t see anything else in development yet that comes close. We find it remarkable that ADA hype is dominated by progress in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), pumps, and software algorithms, and the combination of thereof in the quest for the “artificial” pancreas holy grail. Yet, those approaches, with their billions in sales, still deliver boluses of older, slower insulin analogs for meal-time glucose control.”
“We believe the new Afrezza data, as well as the credibility lent by the presence of MannKind’s new CMO, Dr. David Kendall, raised Afrezza’s profile at ADA. We encountered multiple clinicians that sounded enthusiastic about Afrezza, while conceding that it’s typically more cumbersome to get insurance access than for Novolog or Humalog. We believe that this exposure, continued physician awareness and education efforts, particularly around proper dosing, and a new post-conference DTC campaign will translate to increased prescribing,” the analyst added.
Net net, Livnat reiterates a Buy rating on MannKind shares, with a price target of $5.00, which represents a potential upside of 163% from where the stock is currently trading. (To watch Livnat’s track record, click here)