Sanofi ending its Afrezza partnership with Mannkind


#1

The deal will be unwound over the next six months or so. Although widely expected, this event creates a huge cloud over the future of what many believe to be a very effective means of BG control. Mannkind has scheduled a conference call later today to discuss the development and, one would assume, the future of Afrezza itself.


Sanofi ends marketing agreement with Mannkind
Sanofi drops Afrezza
#2

Good— sanofi never had its interests in mind and made exactly zero attempt to commercialize it’s game changing drug.


#3

#4

I’m not sure how much the success or failure of the mannkind company really matters… They invented a phenomenal product that works amazingly well. Unfortunately it appears they drove themselves into near bankruptcy to do it, but the product still exists, has value, could be bought out by someone better equipped to actually commercialize it, etc… Maybe this will end up being a good thing in the long run if they sell out to a bigger player… What do you guys think?


#5

I agree Afrezza has inherent value that should endure beyond any one business. What I fear is that due to the muted market response, Afrezza is viewed as the ugly duckling, not the swan it can become. It may again take Al Mann’s deep pockets to sustain the future of Afrezza.


#6

I had never heard of it until I got my CGM a couple of months ago and returned to this board after a hiatus of several years. I have since gotten some samples and a prescription, and it really is a different animal from injectable insulin that holds great promise. My fear is that it will be viewed as a failure like Exubera and no company will be willing to pick up the ball and take a chance with it. Unfortunately, just having a great medication doesn’t mean much if you don’t have the means to manufacture, distribute and promote it and survive a sea of red ink until it gains traction.


#7

yeah - just look at Asante (Ok, not a medication, but an otherwise great solution).


#8

The Asante snap was pretty neat but I don’t think it anywhere near reached the game changer status that afrezza did for me


#9

I won’t argue that ppoint; however, it’s a matter of perspective, I suppose. For me, the Snap was the only way I was able to gain entry into the use of an insulin pump, so it had game-changer status on an individual basis – and I’m certain that I’m not the only one for whom that worked. Aside from that, they played by different rules, in that they listened to users and adapted, while the other players don’t always do that.

That said, I hope Afrezza finds another suitor quickly. Though I believe that i cannot use it, the availability of a much faster acting insulin in any form is of great benefit in this game. Aside from that, we should have all possible available options, so that each patient can get the best treatment for them for this madly diverse condition we all share!


#10

I only hope other market players do not ignorantly lop Afrezza in with Exubera. Afrezza works well with a small socially hidden applicator. Exubera is not half the product that is Afrezza and it’s applicator was the size of can of three tennis balls. Awkward and ineffective. But the market has been ignorant before and some players specialize in finding diamonds in the rough. Let’s hope the Afrezza supply doesn’t dry up.


#11

But once the snap went the way of the dodo bird you were able to just go get a different brand pump that did pretty much the exact same thing…

There is nothing out there that compares to the efficacy or ease of afrezza for me… There are no alternatives for the patients who’ve been using it successfully-- sure injected insulin could keep me healthy, but it would have a tremendous effect on my quality of life if this fell off the market…


#12

From MannKind’s phone conference today, it sounds as if the break in the relationship was initiated by them, not SanofiUS. They are looking for a partner who will offer better marketing and pricing options. Left’s hope they find someone quickly - they are “promising” an uninterrupted supply for patients…

As to the alternative pump doing the ‘exact same thing’… so far. for me that has not been the case – I am using another pump with some success, but not nearly having as good an experience or results as I did with the Asante Snap. The Snap simply did a better job for me in many ways that I have to manually compensate for with what I’m using now (with mixed results).


#13

As I noted in a recent post, Mannkind recently hired Duane DeSisto, former CEO of Insulet, as its new CEO. Clearly, a direction change is needed. Although the new leadership at Insulet, manufacturer of the Omnipod, has had to adjust growth estimates downward since DeSisto’s departure, hopefully he has the acumen to guide Mannkind into a new partnership and better market penetration for Afrezza, enough to ensure the product’s long-term survival.


#14

We want Trump!!


#15

I’m inclined to think there is something behind this comment. I attended ADA and AADE this year and the marketing of Afrezza was almost non-existent. For a newly approved drug which is the only one in it’s class this seems like a major problem. And it is important to understand drugs are not sold by just putting them out there. An absolutely huge role is played by the distribution and marketing machines. Billions are spent on “drug reps” who go out to all the doctors out there and personally sell these drugs. Those drug reps are the reason that your doctor has free samples. If you got a free sample then your doctors was detailed by a drug rep. If you ask your doctor for a sample and he doesn’t have any then you know that the marketing machine is broken.

It doesn’t matter whether Afrezza is the best thing in the world. If it isn’t marketed it will fail. And Mannkind does not have the ability to market Afrezza on it’s own. If it doesn’t find a partner to market the drug it is toast.


#16

I remember the tremendous hype surrounding Exubera. The end of injections! It was expected to be a blockbuster of Viagra-like proportions I literally had not heard of Afrezza, a huge improvement by the delivery system alone, until I read about it on this board recently. There is no doubt that Sanofi has been a poor partner. One wonders if there was ever any commitment to the product at all, or why they even entered the partnership in the first place. There is actually some speculation among investors that Sanofi deliberately “killed” a potential competitor to its existing insulin products.


#17

We can speculate all day as to Sanofi’s motives… My understanding is that the last couple years, sales of Lantus, their biggest market-winner, have been dropping, despite an increase in the number of PWD overall, so they wanted another very different diabetes drug to try and offset that. Those plans may have been internally derailed by the development and approval for Toujeo and now the new T2D combo insulin+GLP-1 drug they’ve applied for approval (Lixilan), while at the same time Lantus will have new competition from Lily’s biosimilar insulin. So Afrezza didn’t get the attention it needed…

I just hope Mannkind and Afrezza survive… Best case would be to partner with Lily - who seems to have the majority of insurance companies’ attention…


#18

Just catching up on this news and post. All I can do is sit here and shake my head. For me, NOTHING on the market compares to the efficacy of Afrezza for meals and corrections. It’s lightning fast, extremely effective, simple to dose and doesn’t have a tail. My a1c (which was never bad) has been the best it’s ever been since I started using Afrezza.

I would be really, really disappointed to see it go away.

@Sam19 - we may have to figure out a way to buy up all the remaining supply and stockpile it :joy:


#19

It makes me wonder if Sanofi, at some level, perceived Afrezza as a product that would cannibalize sales of Apidra, a direct market competitor. My doctor did have samples to pass out but I wonder how widespread that was. My doctor was interested in Afrezza so perhaps she requested the samples and was not proactively informed about them.


#20

Frankly I think afrezza has the potential to disrupt the sales of a lot more than apidra. I think it has the potential to completely destroy the insulin pump market, as well as all other bolus insulins, and a large portion of the blood glucose monitoring market, and pretty much turn the entire diabetes care industry (billions if not hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide) pretty much completely upside down— so yeah I do certainly question the honorable intentions of all of its competitors.

Interestingly, up here in rural Alaska, there was a swarm of sanofi reps touting afrezza for a week or two and then nothing… I did see exactly one magazine advertisement while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist office----

A world changing drug deserves better marketing. I’ve done more to market afrezza myself than sanofi ever did.