Finding the Perfect Strategic Partner for an FDA Approved Drug
George Whaley, Jessica Brown
January 1, 2015
Strategy & General Management
strategic management, entrepreneurship, product marketing, biotechnology management
Journal of Critical Incidents
MannKind Corporation is a small biotechnology firm faced with a critical decision to find a partner to market its first product. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the firm’s inhalable dry powder insulin (Afrezza) in June 2014 that has the potential to help millions of diabetics worldwide. MannKind burned cash at a high rate to develop Afrezza; hence, it is not yet profitable and other products in their pipeline are years away from FDA approval. Top management decided to review a short list of stable pharmaceutical firms to select the best strategic partner. Based on the experience of other firms and their own experiences, MannKind management knew money and marketing acumen were not the only items needed to make the partnership successful. The incident (CI) ends with top management mulling over an appropriate decision process and tools to select the best strategic business partner to market Afrezza.