Mann doubles down on biotech as Afrezza decision looms

As investors lay down their final bets on the FDA's looming decision on MannKind's Afrezza, the company's wealthy CEO has opted to put his money where his mouth has been--doubling down on an ambitious wager that the much-maligned inhaled insulin treatment Afrezza will get a green light from regulators.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Alfred Mann has sunk an additional $22 million into MannKind ($MNKD), buying up new shares to add to the treasure trove of stock he has accumulated over the past six years. And Mann plans to buy more shares as part of an agreement to cancel debt owed to him by the biotech. MannKind Chief Financial Officer Matt Pfeffer told the Journal that Mann has invested close to a billion dollars in the company.

Added Pfeffer: "If you talk to Al, he'll tell you he thinks this will be one of the biggest products ever."

MannKind has a reputation as a savvy investor with deep pockets. But this is not a game for the weak of heart--or anyone short of assets. Analysts say the FDA's decision is likely to trigger either huge gains or painful losses in its share price once the news hits.

A decision is expected by the end of this month. But even a favorable ruling wouldn't end the argument over Afrezza. MannKind is trying to succeed in a field where others have failed.

- here's the report from the Wall Street Journal

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