MannKind Corporation’s Deal With Sanofi Validates Opportunity

MannKind Corporation’s Deal With Sanofi Validates Opportunity
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MannKind Corporation NASDAQ:MNKD’s announcement that it struck a deal with Sanofi SA (ADR) NYSE:SNY is generally being seen as a positive on Wall Street. However, investors still had questions about the details of the announcement, which management answered on the conference call. Analysts also continue to give their views on the deal.

Can MannKind deliver sales?

In a report dated Aug. 11, 2014, RBC Capital Markets analyst Adnan Butt and associates Jeffrey Takimoto and John Chung say one of the questions investors have been asking is whether the label that will be going on MannKind’s Afrezza drug is “strong enough.” They also want to know whether there’s a big enough market for inhaled insulin that MannKind would be able to attract “an experienced, high quality, biopharmaceutical partner.”

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Like other analysts who have already weighed in, the RBC Capital team thinks Sanofi is a very strong partner for MannKind. The company is a leader in diabetes drugs, and they think the “quality” of the partner and also the terms of the deal “validate Afrezza’s ultimate commercial opportunity” while also putting to rest concerns about whether the drug will bring enough sales.

Details on the MannKind – Sanofi deal

The analysts think the terms and economics of the deal are “attractive.” The companies expect to launch the inhaled insulin in the first quarter of next year. MannKind Corporation NASDAQ:MNKD receives 35% of the profits, while Sanofi gets the other 65%. MannKind also gets $150 million up front and more potential milestones of up to $775 million. Sanofi is also paying a $175 million advance to cover MannKind’s share of expenses related to the collaboration.

Sanofi will handle global commercialization, development and approvals for the drug. MannKind will manufacture it, and they will work together to expand supply of the drug. The RBC Capital team expects to see U.S. sales of about $4 billion in 2030.

What about international sales?

Investors have also been wondering if MannKind and Sanofi will take Afrezza outside the U.S. The RBC team thinks the potential for this is very high because of the partnership with Sanofi. With that partner, they think the drug’s international potential may have a “positive halo” for MannKind. They aren’t expecting any European Union or Rest of the World sales until 2017, although they say that could be conservative. By 2030, they expect Rest of the World sales to hit $3 billion..

The analysts have maintained their Outperform rating on MannKind Corporation NASDAQ:MNKD.

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