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MannKind stock jumps on positive report about inhaled insulin

MannKind Corp., the Valencia maker of inhaled insulin that had been battered on Wall Street this year, is finally getting some good news.

The company's stock has soared since an analyst released a report that offered a bright outlook for its inhaled insulin drug Afrezza.

Shaunak Deepak, an analyst with Jefferies in New York, said demand for the drug is likely to rise as more doctors become familiar with it. A planned advertising campaign should also improve results, Deepak said.

Deepak's survey found that doctors who were aware of the drug were prescribing it "more frequently than we had expected, especially among Type 1 diabetics."

MannKind shares were up 41 cents, or 9%, to $4.82 in mid-day trading Tuesday. The stock is up 33% since Deepak's report was released Friday.

Deepak said a survey found that 35% of doctors who treat patients with diabetes are unfamiliar with Afrezza. MannKind is marketing the drug in a partnership with Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company.

"The broad lack of awareness among roughly a third of physicians is surmountable, especially as [MannKind and Sanofi] increase their marketing spend and begin advertising," Deepak wrote in the report.

Sanofi said it sold just $1.1 million of Afrezza in the first two months of sales, far less than analysts had expected.

Still, MannKind's stock is down 16% this year, as of Monday's closing price.

Twitter: @spfeifer22

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