Monday, June 04, 2007

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR): Exubera sales force is set to kick off

- Noelle Tune from Soleil's Neponset Equity Research notes their contacts on Pfizer's Cardiovascular team suggest that the Exubera sales force is set to kick off a new messaging campaign today, with a focus on patient treatment satisfaction with Exubera.

Contrary to Exubera detailing to date, which focused on A1C efficacy and pulmonary safety, PFE is rolling out new data indicating that patient perception of Exubera's benefit is higher than that of traditional insulin formulations, leading to a higher patient acceptance rate and stronger patient compliance. The messaging also incorporates a pitch to "try insulin earlier," in an effort to capitalize on recent safety concerns over oral agent Avandia.

Firm's contacts suggest that PFE remains committed, having beefed up print advertising June 1, and appears on track to launch a major television DTC campaign in the July/August timeframe, which they believe will be a major driver for prescriptions in 2H:07. They reiterate their Buy rating on Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR), PFE's partner on Exubera.

Notablecalls: Well done Noelle! I was somewhat surprised the shorts managed to chop NKTR down on May 10 after the management didn't take down their Exubera numbers and Morgan Stanley came out with an upgrade. The move uncovered by Neponset shows Pfizer means business with Exubera and I fully expect a nice upward move in NKTR over the next couple of days. Risk is best defined by recent lows. Think I'm going to call this one actionable!

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