While the pharmaceutical incumbents promote inhalable insulin as an alternative to jabs, Bentley Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BNT), a small outfit based in New Hampshire has signed a commercialization and production deal for insulin delivered via nasal spray. Carlos Velez has an interesting post looking at the significance of this news:
Bentley is developing an interesting alternative to inhaled insulin, which, while approved recently, has some folks concerned over potential lung side effects. It's entirely possible that the intranasal formulation Bentley has will cause some irritation, but I'd take that over the potential decrease in lung function any day. Although I still think achieving consistent bioavailability (the amount of insulin which reaches the circulation) is going to be problematic. Their formulation does have much higher bioavailability than inhaled, which will manifest itself as a smaller device (a good marketing angle) and less insulin per dose (lower COGS).
The deal is also interesting, as Velez notes, because Bentley is partnering with Biocon (53253.BO) an Indian company to produce the new product. The major U.S. companies, therefore, are no longer are the gatekeepers to global commercialization and development for smaller companies.
There's not guarantee of this product's success, of course, but it's obvious that this is dynamic market, and investors betting that one company has it locked up may be in for surprises.
And in other nasal spray news, the first true pharmaceutical aphrodisiac, PT-141, is in Phase III trials. You can read a somewhat safe-for-work article about it here. Here is its wikipedia entry. The company developing it is Palatin pharmaceuticals (AMEX: PTN).