It's one thing to get beat by the newest product on the market. AltaVista, Yahoo!
In addition, second-generation drugs can do serious damage to sales of the original product. That's why Schering-Plough
How much Onyx's shareholders need to worry about this is debatable at the moment because Bayer's derivative isn't an immediate threat. It's likely to take years for this to play out in court, and, with the long clinical-trial development time, it will take a while for Bayer to get the drug to market, even if Onyx loses the court case. The medium-term future for Onyx is in whether it can get Nexavar approved to treat additional cancers. Thrusting a dagger into the competition is more important right now than fending off an attack from its partner.
Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Johnson & Johnson is a selection of the Income Investor newsletter. The Fool has a disclosure policy.