Top 10 pipeline blowups, set­backs and sna­fus in H1 2018

We’ve had no short­age of epic dis­as­ters in H1. Some of them are leg­endary. They all of­fer lessons about this in­dus­try we’d be wise to pay at­ten­tion to, and will be talk­ing about for years to come.

Look­ing over the rub­ble, we can see how one uni­corn buy­out led to painful­ly bad da­ta, the Next Big Thing in can­cer went pffft in one day and a once-con­fi­dent in­dus­try leader was hob­bled by a jar­ring mis­take.

And that’s just a start.

To boil it all down to 10 forced me to over­look the ex­tinc­tion-lev­el events that be­set a string of small cap com­pa­nies. Once the in­dus­try starts turn­ing back to shell com­pa­nies to get on the mar­ket, there should be no prob­lem pick­ing one up cheap.

And that day is cer­tain­ly ahead of us. I just don’t know when, ex­act­ly. Hind­sight is 20/20 vi­sion, as they say, and the rearview mir­ror in biotech is al­ways clut­tered with sna­fus and fi­as­cos.

One mo­ment In­cyte had the next big thing in can­cer ther­a­py, and the next mo­ment it didn’t

Based: Wilm­ing­ton, DE
YTD: $IN­CY -31%
CEO: Hervé Hop­penot

The scoop: Every­one knew that the ECHO-301 read­out came with high stakes. But few could have fore­told the lev­el of de­struc­tion its fail­ure would bring in a mat­ter of days. 

The study it­self was a dis­as­ter, which In­cyte was quick to ac­knowl­edge. Epaca­do­stat com­bined with Keytru­da failed to im­prove pro­gres­sion-free sur­vival in metasta­t­ic melanoma, and there was vir­tu­al­ly no chance of suc­cess for over­all sur­vival. So they scrapped it.

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