If it weren't for bad luck, biotech NeurocrineBiosciences
Pfizer had not only been providing financial support to the development of Indiplon, but it was also going to distribute and market the drug, giving a cut of the proceeds to Neurocrine, who would in turn send along royalties to DOV Pharmaceuticals
A lot of folks were holding their breath on the future of this drug until they saw what Pfizer was going to do -- the logic being that if Pfizer bailed out, that was all but a death-knell for the future of the compound. While I'm not about to minimize the impact of this move, let me tell you a little story.
There once was a biotech company working on a drug for Type 1 diabetics, and this company had a partner by the name of Johnson & Johnson
The good news for Neurocrine is that it seems to have enough cash to continue developing Indiplon (subject, of course, to the extent of the FDA's ultimate demands for new studies). The bad news is that there's nothing else in the near-term cupboard -- drugs to treat conditions like endometriosis, heart failure, and diabetes are still a ways off. In other words, while this story may yet have a happy ending, there's going to be a lot of nervous waiting between now and then.
For more Foolish perspectives on biotech:
- The FDA Tries to Put Neurocrine to Sleep
- A Pain DOV Pharmaceuticals Couldn't Cure
- Genentech Is Weird
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and Amylin, but has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).