BTIG starts MannKind at buy; PT $3

BTIG initiated coverage of MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD) with a “buy” rating and price target of $3. The stock closed at $1.23 on May 13.

MannKind is focused on developing and marketing inhaled therapeutics that employ its proprietary Technosphere technology and inhalers. Technosphere is a fumaryl diketopiperazine-based microparticle delivery platform that affects efficient pulmonary delivery and rapid systemic absorption.

Analyst Robert Hazlett writes that the technology has been successfully developed into Afrezza, a convenient, rapid-acting inhaled insulin approved in 2014 for use in diabetics.

“Mannkind’s recently revamped management is attempting to energize Afrezza through publications of differentiating data, an effort we believe can improve acceptance among physicians and patients, helping solid growth continue,” he added.

Mr. Hazlett said that with the advancements of continuous glucose monitor technologies, “we believe tighter glycemic control will become more of a focus, and Afrezza can play a material role.”

The company also is focusing on broader applications of Technosphere. It recently inked a deal with United Therapeutics for Technosphere treprostinil for pulmonary arterial hypertension, and efforts for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, migraine, cystic fibrosis, and with cannabinoids, provide long-term upside, Mr. Hazlett said.


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