Shares of MannKind Corp., one of the last drug makers trying to develop inhaled insulin, rose the most in more than four years after analysts expressed optimism about the product.
Valencia-based MannKind rose 95 cents, or 34%, to $3.78, the most since the company's initial public offering in July 2004. The gain offset a decline of 16% earlier this week after the company released the results of a clinical trial.
MannKind on Tuesday reported in a study that its inhaled drug controlled blood sugar in diabetics just as well as insulin injection pens, though neither provided the levels currently recommended for most patients. MannKind also provided a marketing study suggesting that its product, if approved by the Food and Drug Administration, could have more than $1 billion in annual sales.
"MannKind's Technosphere insulin system could become the therapy of choice for treatment of diabetes based on its performance, convenience and ease of use," Michael Tong, an analyst at Wachovia Securities in New York, wrote in a note to clients.
The company Wednesday completed construction of its newest plant in Danbury, Conn., to produce the drug, now known as Afresa.