MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) stock has gained over 46% this year so far. The biopharmaceutical company’s vice president Juergen Martens reaped benefits of the soaring stock by selling 76,899 shares of the company in an open market transaction dated May 19. According to his latest SEC filing, Dr. Martens unloaded those shares at an average price of $7.50 for a total value of $576,742.
Most MannKind insiders hold onto their stock
After the sale, Juergen Martens owns 139,024 MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) shares valued at about $1.04 million. Insider selling activity in MannKind has been quite low, sending signals that the company management is confident of getting the diabetes drug Afrezza approved in July. Before Martens, Diane Palumbo, VP of human resources, offloaded 18,176 shares at $7.05 apiece on May 15. She now owns 158,858 shares of MannKind, according to Nasdaq.
MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) is seeking regulatory approval for its insulin inhaler treatment Afrezza, which has immense revenue potential if approved. Afrezza delivers insulin directly to the diabetic patent’s lungs, making it easy to use. Last month, a USFDA advisory committee recommended the drug unanimously, with 13-1 votes for Type-1 and 14-0 votes for Type-2 diabetes.
MannKind gets an upgrade from Piper Jaffray
However, the Food and Drug Administration delayed the review of the drug under the Prescription Drug user Fee Act (PDUFA) from April 15 to July 15. A few members of the advisory panel had stated that Afrezza should go through longer-term studies to identify potential side effects. Last week, Piper Jaffray upgraded MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) from Underweight to Neutral. The research firm also raised its price target from $2 to $6.50, saying that it was a valuation call. Separately, MLV & Co. analysts reiterate their Buy rating with $10 price target.
On May 12, MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) reported its fiscal first quarter results. The company doesn’t generate revenues, but its quarterly losses widened during the quarter due to an increase in operating expenses. MannKind incurred a net loss of 14 cents per share or $52.1 million compared to 15 cents per share or $41 million in Q1, 2013. Its operating expenses jumped from $36.4 million to $41.4 million.
MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) shares gained 0.45% to $7.84 in pre-market trading Thursday.