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The Companies that Failed

A roundup of eight biotech companies that didn’t make it through this year's continuing tough economic times

By | December 20, 2011

FLICKR, HARVEYBEN



In an incredibly competitive environment, with venture capital funds parsed more carefully than ever, FierceBiotech reported on eight innovative biotech companies that closed their doors recently.  Here’s the list (in alphabetical order), and an account of why they bit the dust.

 

 

Company: Advanced Life Sciences

Founded: 1998

Focus: Treatments for infection, cancer and respiratory illness

While Advanced Life Sciences  was waiting on the US Food and Drug Administration’s response on an antibiotic treatment for community-acquired pneumonia in 2009, it was forced to lay off 30 percent of its staff. Then an expert panel reviewing the drug said it was not effective, ultimately causing the company to suspend operations in early May.

 

Company: Altair Therapeutics, Inc.

Founded: 2007

Focus: Drugs for respiratory diseases like asthma and rhinitis

Altair Therapeutics, a spin-off of ISIS Pharmaceuticals, was dissolved in February, its assets reabsorbed by its parent company after Phase II clinical trials of its inhaled antisense asthma drug showed no benefit.  The drug was supposed to specifically knock down the production of two inflammatory cytokines, IL-4 and IL-13. Although there was some evidence that the drug was hitting its target, it showed no improvement in patients.  The company, which only had seven full-time employees, garnered big support just two years into its start, pulling in $17 million from venture capital firms in 2009. But after the failure of its asthma drug, the company was forced to close shop.

 

Company: Ambrilia Biopharma

Founded: 1998

Focus: Diagnostics and therapeutic drugs for oncology and infectious diseases

The Canadian company Ambrilia Biopharma had a promising start, securing a $215 million deal with Merck for the development of its HIV drug. In 2008, however, Merck put the program on hold. The company kept holding on, continuing to pursue Phase III trials for a drug to treat acromegaly, a disease that causes facial deformity, even as its employees were cut to a total of 15. Last year its CEO and CFO were let go, and in April of this year, the company filed for bankruptcy.

 

Company: ARYx Therapeutics

Founded: 1997

Focus: To change the metabolic profile of established drugs to improve their safety and reduce side effects

FLICKR, DEREKGAVEY

ARYx Therapeutics had an interesting idea: take drugs which appeared effective, but were too toxic to be used, and redesign them so that they could be absorbed, metabolized, and easily excreted without detrimental effects.  The company went public in 2007, but then scaled back operations after its blood clotting compound showed no improvement over existing therapies. In 2010 the company cut its employees to less than 20, and when the FDA delayed giving guidance on a drug ARYx was developing for gastrointestinal disorders, the company’s funders turned away. It began to liquidate its assets in March.

 

Company:  Peptimmune

Founded: 2002

Focus: To develop peptide and peptide-copolymer therapies for central nervous system and autoimmune disorders

Genzyme spun off Peptimmune to develop drugs to treat autoimmune diseases.  One compound in particular showed promise.  Named PI-2301, it was a treatment for multiple sclerosis, based on the research of Jack Strominger at Harvard University and Hidde Ploegh from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. The company was in the process of liquidating its assets earlier this year, when Merck Serono decided to buy full rights to PI-2301 for $1.5 million.

 

Company: Phenomix Corporation

Founded: 2001

Focus: Small-molecule drugs that target enzymes, including targets for diabetes and hepatitis C infection

California-based  Phenomix Corporation started out well, receiving multiple rounds of venture capital funding, and even a $340 million dollar deal to develop its oral diabetes drug dutoglyptin from Forest Labs.  Then as the drug entered Phase III clinical trials, even showing promising early results, Forest withdrew from the deal, leaving Phenomix to unsuccessfully look for other funders.  It closed in late 2010.

 

Company:  Tolerx

Founded: 2000

Focus: Immune manipulation by targeting T-cell responses to diseases from diabetes to cancer and chronic viral infections

Tolerx landed a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline in 2007 worth $760 million to develop its antibody therapy for type 1 diabetes, called otelixizumab. The drug failed to show the expected efficacy in Phase III clinical trials, and the company began to lay off employees in March and May.  GSK, however, said it would continue to develop otelixizumab.

 

Company: Transdel Pharmaceuticals

Founded: 1998

Focus: Topical formulations of pharmaceutical products

Transdel, a pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical company, filed for bankruptcy this June after a slow decline.  Some of its products, however, will be developed by Cardium Therapeutics, which purchased Tansdel’s entire portfolio for $4 million. Cardium plans to develop Ketotransdel, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in a topical formulation, as well as treatments for hyperpigmentation and cellulite.

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Comments

Avatar of: steinp2

steinp2

Posts: 33

December 21, 2011

Inverse parabola biotechs aren't anything new with 2011.  "Failure" is an interesting word in the medtech industry.  One doesn't just need to disappear to fail miserably compared to the recent past.  With this definition expansion, I would like to add two Fortune 500's in the medical device sector:  Medtronic and St. Jude Medical.  With recent devastating recalls, layoffs, and disappearing innovation, they are true failures in many senses of he word.
 
Paul Stein

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

December 21, 2011

Inverse parabola biotechs aren't anything new with 2011.  "Failure" is an interesting word in the medtech industry.  One doesn't just need to disappear to fail miserably compared to the recent past.  With this definition expansion, I would like to add two Fortune 500's in the medical device sector:  Medtronic and St. Jude Medical.  With recent devastating recalls, layoffs, and disappearing innovation, they are true failures in many senses of he word.
 
Paul Stein

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

December 21, 2011

Inverse parabola biotechs aren't anything new with 2011.  "Failure" is an interesting word in the medtech industry.  One doesn't just need to disappear to fail miserably compared to the recent past.  With this definition expansion, I would like to add two Fortune 500's in the medical device sector:  Medtronic and St. Jude Medical.  With recent devastating recalls, layoffs, and disappearing innovation, they are true failures in many senses of he word.
 
Paul Stein

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

December 28, 2011

Really oustanding scientists. I agree with such a selection.  However, I like to emphasise a new paramount diagnostic method - born at Christmas 2011 - that innovates the physical semeiotics.
Firstly, what follows is  the announce of a clinical diagnostic tool in the interest of people, rather than an Apologia pro domo Mea, according to HJ Newman.

In my
opinion, science's breakthroughs of this year, worthy to spread among
physicians, have to include also the Brain Sensor Bedside Evaluation,
based on the original assessment of glycocalix by mean of a stethoscope(1-5).

As a matter
of facts, recent glycocalix bedside evaluation, I have discovered, allows
physicians to assess clinically, i.e., with a simple stethoscope, both
structure and function of mit-DNA and n-DNA, because cell membrane, glycocalix
and interstitial substances - which are really a unit from the functional
view-point - are synthesised under correct and refined nuclear and
mitochondrial information (3-6).

In
addition, thanks to such a paramount scientific advance of physical semeiotics,
I am going on to point out an outstanding diagnostic tool, i.,e., the Quantum
Biophysical Semeiotics Evaluation of Brain Sensor of the physiological and
pathological conditions of biological systems, since their very initial
stage, e. g., Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics Constitutions and related
Inherited Real Risks (7).

At
Christmas 2011, has born Brain Sensor Bedside Evaluation,
based on above referred glycocalix assessment.

Interestingly,
in apparently healthy individual, since its birth, the presence, e.g., of CAD
Inherited Real Risk, conditio sine qua non of CAD (8-15), brings about
small microcirculatory activation of Brain Sensor, i.e., limbic region as well
as PNEI neuronal center.

In this
case, essential from the diagnostic view-point, light digital pressure,
applied upon heart cutaneous projection area (precordium), causes
"simultaneously", due to non-local realm in biological systems,
microcirculatory activation, whose intensity parallels the seriousness of
underlying CAD Inherited Real Risk, allowing thus its quantification.

Perhaps,
lacking at the moment the possibilty of its validation by peer- reviews Editors
and Reviewers,  due to the fact that Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics is
scarsely known, we should disregard Brain Sensor Bedside Evaluation,
temporarily the UNIQUE clinical tool able to carry CAD growing Epidemic to its
End?

References.

1) Simone
Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro The role of glycocalyx in QBS diagnosis of Di
Bella's Oncological Terrain - http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

2) Simone
Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics of Oncological
Inherited Real Risk of Myelopathy: The diagnostic role of glycocalyx. http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

3) Sergio Stagnaro. The Principle of Recursive
Genome Function: QBS evidences. 18 maggio
2011. http://www.sisbq.org. http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

4) Sergio
Stagnaro. A Clinical Way
in fighting the Five Stages of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. 29 June, 2011. http://www.biomedcentral.com. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1...

5) Sergio Stagnaro. Glycocalix
Quantum-Biophysical-Semeiotic Evaluation plays a Central Role in Demonstration
of Water Memory-Information. http://www.sisbq.org. 19 July, 2011. http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

6) Simone
Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics and mit-Genome's
fractal dimension Journal of Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics, 1 1-27, http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

7) Stagnaro-Neri M., Stagnaro S. Introduzione
alla Semeiotica Biofisica. Il Terreno Oncologico. Travel Factory, Roma, 2004. http://www.travelfactory.it/se...

8)
Stagnaro Sergio.Biophysical Semeiotic Constitutions, Genomics, and
Cardio-Vascular Diseases. BMC
Cardiovascular Disorders, 2004, http://www.biomedcentral.com/1...

9) Stagnaro Sergio. Role of Coronary Endoarterial
Blocking Devices in Myocardial Preconditioning - c007i. Lecture, V Virtual
International Congress of Cardiology, 2007. http://www.fac.org.ar/qcvc/lla...

10)Subtype
B, Aspecific, Coronary Endoarteriolar Blocking Devices. Diagnostic Role of
Myocardial Oxygenation and Biophysical-Semeiotic Preconditioning. www.athero.org,
29 April, 2009 http://www.athero.org/commenta...

11)Stagnaro
Sergio. Pre-Metabolic Syndrome and Metabolic Syndrome: Biophysical-Semeiotic
Viewpoint. www.athero.org, 29 April, 2009. http://www.athero.org/commenta...

12)
Stagnaro Sergio. Bedside Evaluation of CAD biophysical-semeiotic inherited real
risk under NIR-LED treatment. EMLA Congress, Laser Helsinki August 23-24, 2008.
"Photodiagnosis and photodynamic therapy", Elsevier, Vol. 5 suppl 1
august 2008 issn 1572-1000

13) Sergio Stagnaro. Quantum biophysical
semeiotics. NeuroQuantology | September 2011 | Vol 9 | Issue 3 | Page 459?467. http://www.neuroquantology.com...

14) Simone Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro. Quantum Chaotic
Aspects of Biophysical Semeiotics - from JOQBS 1 28-70, 2011, http://www.sisb.org/uploads/5/...

15) Sergio
Stagnaro and Simone Caramel (2011) Coronary Artery Disease and Inherited Real
Risk of CAD - http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

I
appreciate you critical comment

Awaiting
your answer,

Sincerely

Sergio Stagnaro

Riva Trigoso (Genoa) Italy

www.sisbq.org

www.semeioticabiofisica.it

 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

December 28, 2011

Really oustanding scientists. I agree with such a selection.  However, I like to emphasise a new paramount diagnostic method - born at Christmas 2011 - that innovates the physical semeiotics.
Firstly, what follows is  the announce of a clinical diagnostic tool in the interest of people, rather than an Apologia pro domo Mea, according to HJ Newman.

In my
opinion, science's breakthroughs of this year, worthy to spread among
physicians, have to include also the Brain Sensor Bedside Evaluation,
based on the original assessment of glycocalix by mean of a stethoscope(1-5).

As a matter
of facts, recent glycocalix bedside evaluation, I have discovered, allows
physicians to assess clinically, i.e., with a simple stethoscope, both
structure and function of mit-DNA and n-DNA, because cell membrane, glycocalix
and interstitial substances - which are really a unit from the functional
view-point - are synthesised under correct and refined nuclear and
mitochondrial information (3-6).

In
addition, thanks to such a paramount scientific advance of physical semeiotics,
I am going on to point out an outstanding diagnostic tool, i.,e., the Quantum
Biophysical Semeiotics Evaluation of Brain Sensor of the physiological and
pathological conditions of biological systems, since their very initial
stage, e. g., Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics Constitutions and related
Inherited Real Risks (7).

At
Christmas 2011, has born Brain Sensor Bedside Evaluation,
based on above referred glycocalix assessment.

Interestingly,
in apparently healthy individual, since its birth, the presence, e.g., of CAD
Inherited Real Risk, conditio sine qua non of CAD (8-15), brings about
small microcirculatory activation of Brain Sensor, i.e., limbic region as well
as PNEI neuronal center.

In this
case, essential from the diagnostic view-point, light digital pressure,
applied upon heart cutaneous projection area (precordium), causes
"simultaneously", due to non-local realm in biological systems,
microcirculatory activation, whose intensity parallels the seriousness of
underlying CAD Inherited Real Risk, allowing thus its quantification.

Perhaps,
lacking at the moment the possibilty of its validation by peer- reviews Editors
and Reviewers,  due to the fact that Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics is
scarsely known, we should disregard Brain Sensor Bedside Evaluation,
temporarily the UNIQUE clinical tool able to carry CAD growing Epidemic to its
End?

References.

1) Simone
Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro The role of glycocalyx in QBS diagnosis of Di
Bella's Oncological Terrain - http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

2) Simone
Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics of Oncological
Inherited Real Risk of Myelopathy: The diagnostic role of glycocalyx. http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

3) Sergio Stagnaro. The Principle of Recursive
Genome Function: QBS evidences. 18 maggio
2011. http://www.sisbq.org. http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

4) Sergio
Stagnaro. A Clinical Way
in fighting the Five Stages of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. 29 June, 2011. http://www.biomedcentral.com. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1...

5) Sergio Stagnaro. Glycocalix
Quantum-Biophysical-Semeiotic Evaluation plays a Central Role in Demonstration
of Water Memory-Information. http://www.sisbq.org. 19 July, 2011. http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

6) Simone
Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics and mit-Genome's
fractal dimension Journal of Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics, 1 1-27, http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

7) Stagnaro-Neri M., Stagnaro S. Introduzione
alla Semeiotica Biofisica. Il Terreno Oncologico. Travel Factory, Roma, 2004. http://www.travelfactory.it/se...

8)
Stagnaro Sergio.Biophysical Semeiotic Constitutions, Genomics, and
Cardio-Vascular Diseases. BMC
Cardiovascular Disorders, 2004, http://www.biomedcentral.com/1...

9) Stagnaro Sergio. Role of Coronary Endoarterial
Blocking Devices in Myocardial Preconditioning - c007i. Lecture, V Virtual
International Congress of Cardiology, 2007. http://www.fac.org.ar/qcvc/lla...

10)Subtype
B, Aspecific, Coronary Endoarteriolar Blocking Devices. Diagnostic Role of
Myocardial Oxygenation and Biophysical-Semeiotic Preconditioning. www.athero.org,
29 April, 2009 http://www.athero.org/commenta...

11)Stagnaro
Sergio. Pre-Metabolic Syndrome and Metabolic Syndrome: Biophysical-Semeiotic
Viewpoint. www.athero.org, 29 April, 2009. http://www.athero.org/commenta...

12)
Stagnaro Sergio. Bedside Evaluation of CAD biophysical-semeiotic inherited real
risk under NIR-LED treatment. EMLA Congress, Laser Helsinki August 23-24, 2008.
"Photodiagnosis and photodynamic therapy", Elsevier, Vol. 5 suppl 1
august 2008 issn 1572-1000

13) Sergio Stagnaro. Quantum biophysical
semeiotics. NeuroQuantology | September 2011 | Vol 9 | Issue 3 | Page 459?467. http://www.neuroquantology.com...

14) Simone Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro. Quantum Chaotic
Aspects of Biophysical Semeiotics - from JOQBS 1 28-70, 2011, http://www.sisb.org/uploads/5/...

15) Sergio
Stagnaro and Simone Caramel (2011) Coronary Artery Disease and Inherited Real
Risk of CAD - http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

I
appreciate you critical comment

Awaiting
your answer,

Sincerely

Sergio Stagnaro

Riva Trigoso (Genoa) Italy

www.sisbq.org

www.semeioticabiofisica.it

 

Avatar of: Sergio Stagnaro

Sergio Stagnaro

Posts: 1457

December 28, 2011

Really oustanding scientists. I agree with such a selection.  However, I like to emphasise a new paramount diagnostic method - born at Christmas 2011 - that innovates the physical semeiotics.
Firstly, what follows is  the announce of a clinical diagnostic tool in the interest of people, rather than an Apologia pro domo Mea, according to HJ Newman.

In my
opinion, science's breakthroughs of this year, worthy to spread among
physicians, have to include also the Brain Sensor Bedside Evaluation,
based on the original assessment of glycocalix by mean of a stethoscope(1-5).

As a matter
of facts, recent glycocalix bedside evaluation, I have discovered, allows
physicians to assess clinically, i.e., with a simple stethoscope, both
structure and function of mit-DNA and n-DNA, because cell membrane, glycocalix
and interstitial substances - which are really a unit from the functional
view-point - are synthesised under correct and refined nuclear and
mitochondrial information (3-6).

In
addition, thanks to such a paramount scientific advance of physical semeiotics,
I am going on to point out an outstanding diagnostic tool, i.,e., the Quantum
Biophysical Semeiotics Evaluation of Brain Sensor of the physiological and
pathological conditions of biological systems, since their very initial
stage, e. g., Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics Constitutions and related
Inherited Real Risks (7).

At
Christmas 2011, has born Brain Sensor Bedside Evaluation,
based on above referred glycocalix assessment.

Interestingly,
in apparently healthy individual, since its birth, the presence, e.g., of CAD
Inherited Real Risk, conditio sine qua non of CAD (8-15), brings about
small microcirculatory activation of Brain Sensor, i.e., limbic region as well
as PNEI neuronal center.

In this
case, essential from the diagnostic view-point, light digital pressure,
applied upon heart cutaneous projection area (precordium), causes
"simultaneously", due to non-local realm in biological systems,
microcirculatory activation, whose intensity parallels the seriousness of
underlying CAD Inherited Real Risk, allowing thus its quantification.

Perhaps,
lacking at the moment the possibilty of its validation by peer- reviews Editors
and Reviewers,  due to the fact that Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics is
scarsely known, we should disregard Brain Sensor Bedside Evaluation,
temporarily the UNIQUE clinical tool able to carry CAD growing Epidemic to its
End?

References.

1) Simone
Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro The role of glycocalyx in QBS diagnosis of Di
Bella's Oncological Terrain - http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

2) Simone
Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics of Oncological
Inherited Real Risk of Myelopathy: The diagnostic role of glycocalyx. http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

3) Sergio Stagnaro. The Principle of Recursive
Genome Function: QBS evidences. 18 maggio
2011. http://www.sisbq.org. http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

4) Sergio
Stagnaro. A Clinical Way
in fighting the Five Stages of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. 29 June, 2011. http://www.biomedcentral.com. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1...

5) Sergio Stagnaro. Glycocalix
Quantum-Biophysical-Semeiotic Evaluation plays a Central Role in Demonstration
of Water Memory-Information. http://www.sisbq.org. 19 July, 2011. http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

6) Simone
Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics and mit-Genome's
fractal dimension Journal of Quantum Biophysical Semeiotics, 1 1-27, http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

7) Stagnaro-Neri M., Stagnaro S. Introduzione
alla Semeiotica Biofisica. Il Terreno Oncologico. Travel Factory, Roma, 2004. http://www.travelfactory.it/se...

8)
Stagnaro Sergio.Biophysical Semeiotic Constitutions, Genomics, and
Cardio-Vascular Diseases. BMC
Cardiovascular Disorders, 2004, http://www.biomedcentral.com/1...

9) Stagnaro Sergio. Role of Coronary Endoarterial
Blocking Devices in Myocardial Preconditioning - c007i. Lecture, V Virtual
International Congress of Cardiology, 2007. http://www.fac.org.ar/qcvc/lla...

10)Subtype
B, Aspecific, Coronary Endoarteriolar Blocking Devices. Diagnostic Role of
Myocardial Oxygenation and Biophysical-Semeiotic Preconditioning. www.athero.org,
29 April, 2009 http://www.athero.org/commenta...

11)Stagnaro
Sergio. Pre-Metabolic Syndrome and Metabolic Syndrome: Biophysical-Semeiotic
Viewpoint. www.athero.org, 29 April, 2009. http://www.athero.org/commenta...

12)
Stagnaro Sergio. Bedside Evaluation of CAD biophysical-semeiotic inherited real
risk under NIR-LED treatment. EMLA Congress, Laser Helsinki August 23-24, 2008.
"Photodiagnosis and photodynamic therapy", Elsevier, Vol. 5 suppl 1
august 2008 issn 1572-1000

13) Sergio Stagnaro. Quantum biophysical
semeiotics. NeuroQuantology | September 2011 | Vol 9 | Issue 3 | Page 459?467. http://www.neuroquantology.com...

14) Simone Caramel and Sergio Stagnaro. Quantum Chaotic
Aspects of Biophysical Semeiotics - from JOQBS 1 28-70, 2011, http://www.sisb.org/uploads/5/...

15) Sergio
Stagnaro and Simone Caramel (2011) Coronary Artery Disease and Inherited Real
Risk of CAD - http://www.sisbq.org/uploads/5...

I
appreciate you critical comment

Awaiting
your answer,

Sincerely

Sergio Stagnaro

Riva Trigoso (Genoa) Italy

www.sisbq.org

www.semeioticabiofisica.it

 

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