MannKind Corporation VPs Thomson, Palumbo Sell Shares

David Thomson still directly owns 209,883 shares of MannKind

MannKind shares have rallied more than 16% since February 3 when the company and its partner Sanofi launched Afrezza in the U.S. market. Just a couple of days following the launch of the inhaled insulin, two MannKind Vice Presidents offloaded part of their holdings in the stock. MannKind VP and General Counsel David Thomson revealed in an SEC filing that he sold 80,000 shares of the company on February 5.

Diane Palumbo sells 149,833 shares

Thomson sold the stock at an average price of $7.00 per share for the total value of $560,000. Following the transaction, he owns 209,883 MannKind shares, valued at close to $1,469,181. Separately, MannKind VP-Human Resources, Diane Palumbo said in a Form 4 filing that she sold 149,833 shares of the company in an open market transaction dated February 5.

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Palumbo sold those shares at an average price of $6.95 apiece for a total value of $1.04 million. She had previously sold 188,999 shares at $5.95 per share on January 5. MannKind stock has been gaining momentum even as short interest has jumped to 30.5% of the float. As of January 15, more than 76.85 million shares of the company are held short. Based on the average daily trading volume of 4.47 million shares, it would take short sellers more than 17 days to cover their positions.

MannKind’s Afrezza now available in retail pharmacies by prescription

The Valencia-based company’s inhaled insulin for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is now available by prescription in the United States. MannKind claims that Afrezza is more convenient than the traditional injectable insulin. Analysts polled by Reuters expect Afrezza to generate at least $182 million in annual sales through 2019.

In August last year, MannKind signed a $925 million deal with Sanofi to market Afrezza, following the drug’s USFDA approval in June 2014. Sanofi agreed to pay MannKind $150 million upfront and the remaining $775 million in different milestone payments. The U.S. pharma company also stands to receive 35% of the profits generated by Afrezza.

MannKind shares rallied 2.40% to $7.69 in early trading Tuesday.