Pfizer sells insulin assets to Anti-diabetes drugmaker MannKind for $33 million

American drugmaker MannKind Corp is buying Pfizer's insulin manufacturing facility at Frankfurt, Germany, and related assets for $33 million, giving the company access to an immediate supply of insulin, even if is unable to acquire the facility itself.

The agreement includes assets related to the production of bulk insulin, the relevant real property rights, the production equipment, a quantity of bulk insulin and a license to manufacture bulk insulin for use in pulmonary delivery.

The transfer of certain real property rights requires the consent of third parties and if the consents are not obtained, only the bulk insulin, the license to manufacture bulk insulin for use in pulmonary delivery and certain removable equipment will be transferred to MannKind.

MannKind has the option to issue $30 million worth of stock to Pfizer towards closing of the deal. It said it intends to retain more than half of the current workforce and plans to operate the facility at a production level as per its present needs for recombinant human insulin.

NASDAQ-listed biopharmaceuticals firm MannKind focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of therapeutic products for patients with diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Its pipeline includes AFRESA, which has completed US FDA Phase 3 clinical trials, and MKC253, which is currently in phase 1 clinical trials. Both of these investigational products are being evaluated for their safety and efficacy in the treatment of diabetes.

"The insulin plant in Frankfurt is a state-of-the-art insulin production facility that would make an excellent counterpart to our formulation, fill and finish facility for AFRESA in Danbury, Connecticut," said Alfred Mann, chairman and CEO of Mannkind Corporation. "Upon the closing of this transaction, we will obtain an immediate supply of insulin and the ability to supply our insulin needs for the future, even if we are unable to acquire the facility itself. We are pleased with this opportunity to secure our insulin supply, which brings AFRESA one step closer to commercial readiness."

Shares of Mannkind closed at $2.17 Friday on NASDAQ, while Pfizer shares closed at $12.73 on New York Stock Exchange.

In January Pfizer eentered into a deal to acquire Wyeth in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at approximately $68 billion, in bid to acquire more than a single blockbuster drug to help ride out the coming loss in revenues once generic manufacturers start making their versions of Lipitor, its cholesterol-fighter which goes off-patent next year. (See: Pfizer-Wyeth create $68-billion blockbuster deal). 
It also acquired rights to commercialise 39 generics from Aurbindo Pharma (See: Pfizer acquires rights to several generics from Aurobindo). The $270-billion global generics market is estimated to expand to over $500 billion within the next five years.