Everyone knows that the biotech drug development process is a gamble. Small developers spend years and tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars trying to bring drugs to market. The lucky ones will sign rich licensing deals, be gobbled up by a big pharma or, less likely, go public and successfully market their products.
Sweden-based Viragen is one of the unlucky ones. After spending 25 years and almost $200 million, the drug developer is liquidating its assets. The company's only approved drug is Multiferon, first-line treatment for malignant melanoma that it was never able to get approved in the States. Viragen explored the use of multiferon for SARS and avian flu--particularly when those diseases were making headlines--but was ultimately unsuccessful. And after posting huge losses, the company can no longer stay afloat. You win some, you lose some: such is the risk of the biotech industry.
- take a look at this South Florida Business Journal report
- see the release on the bankruptcy of Viragen's subsidiary