Welcome to our new annual feature that aims to name and shame those biopharmas and medical device companies that have made an attempt at being ripe but turned out to be rotten.
This project is not designed to simply hurl abuse at companies we for some reason dislike, or those that have tried valiantly to create new and innovative medicines, but failed despite those best efforts.
No, the picks we have made are companies with systemic problems. Or those that push on with trials for a drug that can't cut it, simply because they cannot admit to failure. Or those that have failed their investors or staffers (or both) with consistently poor decisions.
We do this because healthcare and medicine occupy a special place in modern society; it is made up of products and services that are vital for hundreds of millions of people to stay healthy, and to stay alive. Most are not lifestyle products, but necessary weapons against the ravages of disease, accidents, genes or age.
Biopharma and medtech companies are judged more harshly than any other sector for this very reason, and are expected to hit marks simply not expected of, say, tech giants or travel companies. The rewards are high, but so too are the risks. Patients cannot afford to find a rotten tomato in their bags, and nor can investors that have channeled huge sums into companies with a faith that turned out to be misplaced.
Our picks for 2016 cover a broad range of decay, from falling share prices wiping off value and confidence, deaths in clinical trials, dealmaking blunders, epic fails, trillion-dollar opportunities lost and fundamental technology falling short.