The LA Times is running a story on billionaire medical device magnate Alfred Mann‘s dogged persistence of successfully launching an inhaled insulin product.
The latest blow came Wednesday when Valencia-based MannKind Corp.’s stock lost almost 60% of its value after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. said a study showed that its failed version of inhaled insulin might increase the risk of lung cancer.
After dropping much of this year, MannKind shares lost an additional $3.50 on Wednesday, closing at $2.35.
Mann remains undeterred. In an interview, the chief executive was upbeat about his company’s drug Technosphere, which combines a concentrated insulin powder with an inhalation device the size of a deck of playing cards. It is superior to rivals’ efforts and will be a blockbuster when it arrives on the market as early as 2010, he said…
Mann has invested $566 million in the company and is the controlling shareholder. He has agreed to lend it hundreds of millions more, raising his total stake to $916 million.
When you’ve got billions to spend (lose?), you can afford to be stubborn if the payoff for being right is tens of billions (as is easily the case with inhaled insulin). Of course, sometimes things just aren’t meant to be.
Time will tell if this is one of those cases.
More from the LA Times and from MannKind Corp.