Monday, October 22, 2007

Irrational Exubera…

Perhaps an even more shocking part of the Exubera withdrawal story is how this went down. Apparently, Nektar Therapeutics, the company that created Exubera, was blind-sided by this announcement by Pfizer to drop the drug. They’re literally left holding the bag – according to CNN, they still have several million doses of Exubera, and no real sales or marketing capability of their own.

On the other hand, Nektar may ultimately benefit from cutting ties with Pfizer. The company probably already has other companies calling to be a new marketing partner.

In the end, Pfizer suffers most from the Exubera debacle because of the knock on its reputation as a licensing partner. Small companies and biotechs may think twice about dealing with Pfizer, particularly involving lucrative specialty treatments.


Patrick said...

This is also a case where Pfizer invested in the molecule (Exubra) and didn't pay attention to the delivery system. Lilly is investing in delivery systems (which they're still working on). It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next 5 years or so. There's a huge rush to market in this arena so there will probably be a few more misses before someone figures out the next big thing in insulin/diabetes.

Patrick said...

It also sounds like Nektar has a brand to get to market. Maybe they are looking for a consulting group? ;)