The drug: ASA404
The disease: Lung cancer
The company: Antisoma partnered with Novartis
You have to give Antisoma CEO Glyn Edwards credit. When the Phase III lung cancer data on ASA404 turned so bad in an interim analysis that Novartis was forced to suspend the Phase III, he was ready to bury the dead and move ahead. "We need to look at what is the best way to deliver value to all shareholders with the new hand of cards we've been dealt," he said, according to a report on BioWorld.
The shareholders were all for some new value, especially as they calculated losses stemming from the 66 percent share price meltdown that followed the news last March. Edwards only had the headline data to respond to at the time. But when Phase III fails to replicate responses seen in Phase IIb, there's no delaying the consequences.
Fortunately, the U.K.'s Antisoma had other drugs in the pipeline to turn to. It is relying on two other cancer drugs to revive the company, which was staggered by the swift turn of events.