Looking back, think ahead

Hindsight is easy, but foresight is critical. The dichotomy comes to mind in the wake of Regeneron's announcement last week that it would petition the FDA for more time and a protocol change in its pivotal trial of CNTF to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The point is that strategic decisions made early in the development process may come under intense scrutiny later if events turn out unhappily. Sometimes foresight not only includes the need to make prudent decisions, but thinking through the consequences of derailment on the company's ability to maintain credibility and financing.