It didn't take investors too long to do the math. One drug in late-stage trials minus one drug failure equals zero drugs. That last number is also the price that Sonus Pharmaceuticals'
Sonus is developing Tocosol paclitaxel, a reformulated version of Bristol-Myers Squibb's
To gain marketing approval, the drug just needed to work equally well, but have fewer side effects, than Taxol. Or the drug could also have done well in the market if it had performed better than the standard treatment with similar side effects. Instead, the drug did worse in both categories.
Based on the results, Sonus expects its marketing partner, Bayer
The best chance for Sonus to find redemption in the stock market is a reformulated version of Camptothecin, based on the same Tocosol technology, in phase 1 clinical trials. Before the trial results were announced, the company had expected to have $22 million to $25 million in cash at the end of the year, but it should have more because it won't need to pay for the late-stage clinical trial. I'm not sure that will be enough money to get it through a phase 2 trial, so it will probably need to get a partner to take over the funding. I'd guess a dilutive financing is almost guaranteed at this point.
On the winning side of the trial results was Abraxis BioScience