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Afrezza Feedback 'Largely Positive' For MannKind, Jefferies Says

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In a report published Tuesday, Jefferies analyst Shaunak Deepak maintained a Buy rating on MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD), with a price target of $9, following positive physician feedback on Afrezza at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) meeting.

"At the ADA meeting we spoke to 20 U.S. physicians who were familiar with Afrezza and found that while only six had prescribed the drug to date, only one of physicians was fundamentally concerned about prescribing it. The one physician who expressed caution about prescribing Afrezza said that he remained worried about delivery of insulin, a hormone, into the lung," analyst Shaunak Deepak said.

There were two pediatric endocrinologists who had decided against prescribing the drug until it received FDA approval for use in children. Both expressed optimism, however, regarding the eventual opportunity. In fact, one of them claimed that he would take Afrezza himself if he were diabetic.

In the report Jefferies noted, "Three physicians we spoke to worked for the VA/DOD and each expressed concerns with their ability get access to Afrezza, with one hoping for a broad government contract and another asserting it would never be put on formulary. Five physicians cited Afrezza's cost or the need for prior authorization as a primary reason for not yet prescribing the drug to their patients."

Three physicians indicated their hesitation to use Afrezza until they had identified "the ideal patient in need of insulin intensification," Deepak stated, while adding that the physicians' openness to prescribe Afrezza was a positive that could be leveraged with MannKind and Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE: SNY) increasing their efforts towards dialogues with payors and the commencement of direct-to-consumer ads in early 3Q.

Latest Ratings for MNKD

Nov 2015Griffin SecuritiesDowngradesBuyNeutral
Nov 2015RBC CapitalDowngradesOutperformUnderperform
Sep 2015PiperJaffrayDowngradesNeutralUnderweight

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