Shares in biopharmaceutical company MannKind Corporation were up more than 20% at 10:30 am ET.
The company announced a special conference call with investors in which it would reveal more about plans to commercialize Afrezza (insulin human) inhalation powder. MannKind previously partnered with Sanofi to market Afrezza but the latter announced that it would return the rights to the company.
MannKind soars on news of Afrezza relaunch
Since that point investors have been waiting to see how MannKind can address the issues that made sales of Afrezza much lower than expected. Mannkind could do little when Sanofi still controlled the rights to Afrezza, but now it can following the April 5 announcement that it has regained the rights.
The special investor call will take place on April 19 at 5PM ET. A press release revealed that the company wants to expand patient access to Alfrezza. The company said that it would start distributing Afrezza at some point during Q3, but until then patients could access the drug through Sanofi’s existing channels.
MannKind’s Chief Executive Officer, Matthew J. Pfeffer, and Chief Commercial Officer, Michael E. Castagna, will address the strategic commercial approach for Afrezza in the United States. They will discuss sales and marketing of Afrezza, such as reimbursement and access programs for patients, marketing strategy and expansion plans.
There will also be more information on the timeline for relaunch activities.
Volatility set to continue during relaunch
The company also announced that its Q1 investor call would take place on May 9. MannKind will release financial projections for this year and beyond.
Due to a huge short position against it, MannKind stock has been very volatile of late. Approximately 120 million shares had been sold short as of mid-March, which is around 44% of the publicly traded float.
Although there were some major positive moves on Monday, the big question for investors is to what extent MannKind can relaunch Afrezza and fix its finances. The relaunch is a huge opportunity for management, but there is no guarantee that it will turn the company’s fortunes around.
It seems likely that share prices in the company will remain volatile for the next few months while markets work out how well MannKind is managing the relaunch in the United States.