The Top 10 Phase III Failures of 2010

By Phase III, researchers are supposed to have a pretty good handle on just how promising an experimental therapy can be. There's proof-of-concept data in the can and some clear indications of just how big a market a new drug can go on to capture.

But even if the odds of success are somewhat better, the risk for losing big is greater as well. A pharma company often steps in to nail down a licensing deal, but late-stage trials typically require large patient populations and consume enormous budgets.

This year's worst Phase III losers are prime examples of just what can go wrong. From Alzheimer's to cancer, investigators are forced time and again to bet on drugs that target mysterious disease triggers.

Late-stage drug development always requires being prepared for the kind of catastrophic failure that can damage big pharma companies and utterly destroy a smaller outfit. Every Phase III trial represents a throw of the dice, here's a look at some of the top programs that rolled snake eyes in 2010.

1. Dimebon
2. Ocrelizumab
3. Taspoglutide
4. Semagacestat
5. ASA404

6. NOV-002
7. Zibotentan
8. Vicriviroc
9. Recentin
10. NV1FGF

Read more on

Suggested Articles

AbbVie snagged the option to license Harpoon’s anti-BCMA multiple myeloma candidate and the duo added up to six new targets to their discovery deal.

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, Bayer's heart failure drug clears phase 3 test, ABPI calls for more U.K. investment and GHO raises €975 million. 

In our EuroBiotech roundup this week, Azeria raises £32 million, Zealand delays phase 3 readout and Galapagos eyes early 2021 IPF futility analysis.