MannKind has reported a more than 30% increase in new prescriptions for Afrezza, the inhaled insulin product it has been failing to get into the hands of patients for quite some time now. That’s off a base that’s quite tiny, so much more work needs to be done; nonetheless, it’s a win the drug maker is in desperate need of–especially since it is now in danger of having its stock delisted from the NASDAQ.
MannKind sees surge in new Afrezza scripts
The company said last week there were 156 new prescriptions written for Afrezza, marking a 34% increase from 116 the week before, reports Seeking Alpha contributor Trent Welsh. Unfortunately, patients who had received prescriptions for the insulin previously didn’t refill last week, as refills declined 5% to 140 from 147. However, the growth in new prescriptions was strong enough to more than offset the decline in refills, leaving a 12.5% increase in total prescriptions last week, bringing it up from 263 to 296.
Welsh believes that MannKind is putting some “cost-effective and smart” plans designed to spur sales into action. He feels that the label change request coming next month and the possibility of partnerships in Technosphere products might make the drug maker a “buy low” candidate.
The company has had a tough go of things, although it appears that the number of Afrezza prescriptions finally bottomed out within the last year. The marketing deal with Sanofi fizzled as the competitor failed to convince doctors to prescribe the inhaled insulin. For now, it appears as if management’s efforts to turn things around are working, as the downward spiral in prescription numbers has been halted.
MannKind may be delisted from the NASDAQ
What investors want to see next is whether they will be able to spur growth that’s fast enough to alleviate the cash concerns, and now there’s yet another clock ticking on MannKind’s ability to access investor money. A new fuse lasting less than six months has been lit.
The drug maker stands on the brink of being delisted from the NASDAQ; it said last week that it received a delisting warning from the stock exchange earlier this month. Its shares have been in penny stock territory for too long, and if it can’t get its stock price back up so that it closes over $1 for at least ten days in a row within the next 180 calendar days, it will be delisted. The stock surged by nearly 7% on Tuesday, but thus far it hasn’t been enough to carry it over the $1 mark, as the highest level on Tuesday is 62 cents, as of this writing.
Not only does MannKind stand the risk of being delisted, but it also failed to comply with a rule requiring it to disclose the delisting warning letter to investors within four business days of its receipt.