MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) stock has rallied almost 78% this year so far, mainly driven the regulatory approval of its inhaled insulin treatment Afrezza for type-1 and type-2 diabetes. Company insiders have been trying to reap the benefits of soaring stock by offloading their holdings. MannKind Vice-President Juergen Martens said in a regulatory filing that he sold 26,458 shares of the company on July 21.

MannKind

MannKind executives go on a selling spree

Martens sold those shares in the open market transaction at an average price of $9.65. That means he racked up $255,319 from the sale. Following the transaction, Juergen Martens still owns 190,858 shares of the biopharmaceutical company. Before this, he sold 25,000 shares of the company at $10.52 apiece on June 27, the day USFDA approved MannKind’s lead diabetes candidate Afrezza.

Other MannKind executives have also sold part of their holdings this month. According to Nasdaq, Corporate VP and General Counsel David Thomson unloaded 30,000 shares of the company on July 17 at an average price of $9.41. On July 15, VP Diane Palumbo sold 17,901 shares in the open market transaction at $10.01 per share.

MannKind still looking for a potential partner

Though the Valencia-based company’s rapid-action insulin therapy has won regulatory approval, it is still looking for a potential partner to launch and market the drug. MannKind, which ended the first-quarter with $35.76 million in cash, doesn’t have the necessary resources to bring the drug to the market itself. There are several hurdles to the potential partnership.

The biggest hindrance to a partnership with the FDA labeling of Afrezza. Regulators require MannKind to explicitly state in the label that the drug cannot be prescribed to patients with respiratory problems such as asthma. Even patients who use it will have to go through spirometry tests before starting the therapy, and every six months thereafter. FDA has asked the company to conduct further studies to assess the log-term effects of Afrezza on lung function and cardiovascular activity. With so many issues, the potential partner will have to carefully assess the risk-reward ratio before jumping in.

MannKind shares fell 0.63% to $9.50 at 12:32 PM EDT on Thursday.