11 years later - amyloid-beta receives "the final nail" ...... and Biib self-inflicts
The list goes on. But the competition for the top 10 is always stiff, as you can see with our lead blowup.
1. Biogen — One of the most anticipated implosions in the industry pipeline nevertheless created havoc
Based: Cambridge, MA
CEO: Michel Vounatsos
The scoop: It’s not hard coming up with a list of snafus every 6 months. Biogen, though, offers a case study in disaster-making that towers over every other disaster project of H1. This is one for the ages. Epic in proportion. More than a single company mistake, for many observers it provided the final nail needed to bury the idea that controlling amyloid-beta alone could bend the course of the disease in symptomatic patients.
When CEO Michel Vounatsos had a chance to rely on the company’s substantial resources and diversify the company, he instead chose to double down on aducanumab. In the end, though, just like every other drug trying to create something that was disease-modifying, it was a flop. Deeply invested in Alzheimer’s, it exposed the company to a wicked downfall on the market, lighting fire to 30% of its market cap at the time.
The fact that the stock is still down, underscores just how bad this one was.
One of Biogen’s other big plays here is the partnered BACE drug it has, still being put in patients despite some clear evidence that it may be dangerous to patients. Ultimately, Biogen will have to make a final determination for elebecestat and BAN2401. But analysts are already way ahead of them.
When you’re so wrong about something like this, you lose something as CEO you can’t get back. That will add considerable pressure on Vounatsos as he goes about trying to right a badly listing ship. Biogen has the cash to do that, but there are no third chances when it comes to executing something transformational.