MannKind Corporation May Sign Sanofi As Second Insulin API Supplier

MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) revealed some interesting things at the Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference. In July, the biopharmaceutical company signed an insulin API supply deal with Amphastar France Pharmaceuticals SAS. According to MannKind’s recent SEC filing, the company has agreed to buy an annual minimum quantity of insulin valuing at least €120.1 million between 2015 and 2019.

Sanofi can make cheaper insulin

Last month, the Valencia-based company reached a $925 million deal with Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) (EPA:SAN) to market its Afrezza worldwide. Commercial production of Afrezza will kick off at MannKind’s Danbury plant in November. The company is currently increasing headcount at the Danbury facility. MannKind CFO Matthew Pfeffer said at the Morgan Stanley conference that the company was looking to expand its insulin API suppliers.

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And Sanofi seems to be a natural choice as a second supplier. Pfeffer said he was hoping to strike a deal with the French juggernaut which has the best-selling human insulin drug Lantus in its stable. Pfeffer said Sanofi supplying insulin to MannKind makes sense for both companies. Sanofi can make cheaper insulin than a third-party. It will help both companies because Sanofi and MannKind will split the profits generated through sales of Afrezza.

MannKind has bigger ambition for its Technosphere technology

However, he clarified that if Sanofi were to produce insulin API from Afrezza, it will have to be approved first. MannKind president Hakan Edstrom said his company was eager to qualify the French giant’s insulin as quickly as possible. What’s more, MannKind is looking to use its Technosphere formulation technology to treat other diseases as well.

Afrezza uses the Technosphere technology to deliver insulin API to the lungs. Pfeffer said the company would use this platform to deliver other drugs to the lungs. Due to Technosphere’s PK/PD profile, it could be applied to pain management. The company is currently exploring the opportunities where it can leverage this technology.

MannKind shares fell 4.23% to $6.12 at 11:04 AM EDT on Tuesday.