- August 28, 2018
This year we are at it again, with a bit of a twist: We are also looking at fruit that’s come back to ripen once again — namely some companies that topped the rotten leaderboard in 2016 but came back in 2017 smelling of roses. We are willing to elevate, as well as denigrate, and that is exactly what we have done with two of last year’s winners.
There was, in fact, a dearth of rotten tomatoes over the last year — relative to 2016, at least. We will have to wait a little longer to see whether 2016 was simply a particularly bad year; however, we have already identified early contenders for 2018. See you next year, Axovant.
It may seem that we just poke fun at suffering companies, but “innovate or die” has a literal meaning in this industry: This year, on the rotten side, we have a major Big Pharma that sold a vaccine for children that may, according to reports, have worsened their disease; a failed Alzheimer’s drug that will not give up the ghost, despite a very strange method of action; a biotech that saw a clean sweep of trial failures, slashed staff, then lost its Chair, President and CEO; biotech executives who lied about how much money their company was making; and a founder of a major life sciences VC firm who allegedly sexually harassed female employees, particularly Executive Assistants.
However, we have seen a major turnaround for two of last year’s Rotten Tomatoes: one that came back from the brink still fighting, and another that blew the cobwebs off its M&A team and creaked open its sizable wallet to make a long-awaited deal.
All these things matter to patients, to the healthcare system, to investors and to the staffers at these companies. As someone who lost two family members last year, one to cancer and one to Alzheimer’s, it’s a painful reminder of how badly we need good, honest, hardworking biotech companies that innovate, so patients do not have to die before their time.
REFERENCE: Fierce BioTech; 06 MAR 2018; Ben Adams