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Business and Technology Briefs

Executive Summary

Brief summaries of recent product and company developments in the device industry, including a rift in the orthopedics industry following the DOJ settlement, new OTC aesthetics devices, and MannKind's prospects for partnering its inhaled insulin.

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Market & Industry Briefs

Brief summaries of recent medtech market and industry developments. This month we cover what might be inhaled insulin's death knell, MetaCure's play in interventional diabetes and Novartis' deal with Alcon, and the US fracture fixation market.

Inhaled Insulin is Dead. Long Live Inhaled Insulin

In early March, Eli Lilly became the third major pharmaceutical company to scupper its inhaled insulin program. Almost immediately the blogosphere began nailing inhaled insulin's coffin shut. IN VIVO thinks it's still too soon to deliver a eulogy. One company, MannKind, continues undaunted, despite the setbacks for it's competitors, hoping to bring its inhaled insulin to market by 2010. Meantime, specialty pharmaceutical companies or glucose monitoring testing outfits might be interested in the inhaled programs spurned by Big Pharma, but only for the right price.

Insulin Delivery: Still Waiting to Exhale

After the commercial failure of Exubera, is inhaled insulin dead? Not at all. Exubera failed for very specific reasons: a cumbersome device, non-standard dosing, and no real clinical utility. The Exubera snafu has eroded the commercial value of inhaled insulin, but Nektar may be the best-positioned company currently competing in the inhaled insulin space. Nektar can afford to re-partner its version for less, because Pfizer has already paid for the bulk of the drug development work.

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