February 28, 2008

Another way of (Mis?) Understanding Diabetes

The financial industry version.

The Motley fool published an article putting Biodel in with 4 other “deathbed stocks.” In part they say, “Biodel's VIAject system will compete against Humulin, made by Eli Lilly. However, although it seems to be absorbed more quickly than Humulin, there's nothing yet to suggest that will be enough to cause patients to switch.” They also noted that oral insulin took a hit with “the bong.” [link]

Funny it was exactly the faster absorption that got me interested in the company and a bought a few shares for kicks. Faster injected insulin strikes me as much more interesting than oral insulin.

Meanwhile JP Morgan started coverage of the Same Biodel with and “Overweight” rating saying, “VIAject's potential superior clinical profile could compete with the current products of Eli Lilly and Co and Novo Nordisk that are dominating the market, and could capture 10 to 15 percent of the market by 2012, JP Morgan said in a note to clients.”

So apparently even in the financial markets YDMV.

So my fellow T1 people what do you think is a faster insulin something you would buy?


  1. I've already gone on record as saying that Biodel's product is very interesting for several noteworthy reasons. First, the Motley Fool incorrectly states that VIAject will compete with Humulin. The reality is that viaject will compete with Humalog, and it is slightly faster than Humalog (granted, only minutes faster, but in this business, time is money). But more importantly is that insulin analogs are bastardized products which do not exist anywhere in nature, and the long-term impact is only being investigated in patients who are now using the product. Its not insulin, it is an analog, but given a choice between a manmade frankeninsulin and a product that is identical to the human insulin molecule, I think many patients may be more inclined to dump their analogs.

    The issue comes down to a fundamental understanding of the company, its product and the market it is aimed at. Whether they are successful will largely be determined how successfully Biodel navigates the PBM (pharmacy benefits manager) maze and whether gets on the formularies of many people's healthcare plans. But it seems to me that the Motley Fool doesn't really have much clue on what this business entails, which is why the author is writing for a website, rather than as an analyst like Jami Rubin at Morgan Stanley.

  2. I'm not sure - I would have to research it more. If it is just a bit faster, probably - because that means less time to wait for a meal when my kid is high...are there other benefits?

  3. I am not sure about this product, but I am very curious about an oral insulin, Oral-lyn, which is absorbed through mucous membrane of the mouth. It is going to be marketed in Ecuador and India first. This insulin is supposed to be absorbed quickly. And, yes, I am extremely interested in a fast bolus insulin. I am curious if the dosing (seems a bit tricky) will turn out to be accurate and if it will control postprandial blood sugars better than Novolog. I was on line with an Indian with D who clued me on in the dire situation people with diabetes face in India. There is a great deal of discrimination. Perhaps if the person could take insulin for meals via mouth spray instead of syringe this might ease public concern a bit. I gather they also are underinsured and I don't think too many in Third World countries can afford the pump or even Lantus, Novolog, Humalog. So there will be a huge market for Oral-lyn in Third World Countries if it is effective.