Mannkind Corp. has signed a collaboration agreement with Thirona Bio Inc. to further development of a new chemical owned by Thirona to treat lung fibrosis.

FBM5712 is a small molecule inhibitor of the ALK-5 Kinase, which is being developed by Thirona as a means of preventing and/or reducing skin fibrosis through topical application. Additionally, “ALK-5 has been validated as a potential target for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis,” MannKind’s Chief Scientific Officer Thomas Hofmann said in a statement.


FBM5712 will be formulated as a dry powder by MannKind under the collaboration agreement as a potential treatment for lung fibrosis.  


MannKind is working within familiar bounds. The Westlake Village company has developed Afrezza, an inhalable insulin powder used to control blood sugar in diabetics.


If MannKind’s initial studies into FBM5712 are promising, the company is eligible to seek a full license for commercialization and development for the treatment of fibrotic pulmonary diseases.


“We recently announced our goal of launching a new product from our pipeline every year between 2025 and 2030,” Michael Castagna, chief executive officer of MannKind, said in a statement. “We are excited by the opportunity to evaluate FBM5712 and to assess its potential to support our pipeline ambitions.”


The companies also entered into a promissory note purchase agreement that would allow for the support of Thirona’s Series A financing.


Both companies announced the agreement on Thursday. Shares of MannKind (MNKD) closed Friday up 2 cents, or a fraction of a percent, to $4.05 on the Nasdaq.