Top 10 pipeline blowups, set­backs and sna­fus in H2 2017

No com­pa­ny I’ve ever fea­tured on my se­mi-an­nu­al list of top set­backs in bio­phar­ma has ever man­aged to beat Juno Ther­a­peu­tics at the dis­as­ter game. At least not yet. Its string of deaths, be­fore and af­ter an FDA hold, re­mains in the top spot for the moth­er of all clin­i­cal tri­al dis­as­ters in re­cent times.

But it didn’t kill the biotech. In fact, the in­tense fo­cus shift­ed to their come­back pro­gram for JCAR017, which just in­spired a $9 bil­lion takeover by Cel­gene.

Juno of­fers the im­por­tant les­son that fail­ure doesn’t have to be a per­ma­nent con­di­tion. Next-gen drugs are put in­to the clin­ic to help in­crease the odds of suc­cess. And in a game like this, where the Phase I through Phase III fail­ure rate runs some­where around 90% to 95%, who doesn’t think about try­ing to im­prove the odds of suc­cess.

Nev­er­the­less, my lat­est top 10 dis­as­ter run­down has all sorts of cau­tion­ary tales in­clud­ed, with plen­ty to learn from each. This round in­cludes some reg­u­lars, such as:

— Re­searchers and bio­phar­mas re­main wed to drugs long af­ter the da­ta would in­di­cate they should aban­don them as losers.

— Even the top fields like I/O are see­ing some stun­ning fail­ures, un­der­scor­ing that there’s still plen­ty to learn in a field that has at­tract­ed bil­lions in re­search cash with a slate of ap­proved drugs al­ready on the mar­ket.

To see the en­tire list of sna­fus and analy­sis, please log-in to your End­points News ac­count. This ar­ti­cle is free for all reg­is­tered sub­scribers.

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