Differing assumptions drive competition among liposome companies
Last week, BioCentury talked to company managers about marketing issues that are crucial to picking indications and designing clinical trials. This week we examine how three competitors have chosen to deal with these issues. By Karen Bernstein

Last of two parts

The three companies developing liposomal drugs to treat cancer provide a neat case history of the strategic marketing choices companies make when they design clinical trials. While the final verdict isn't in on who will win the race, all three have chosen different means to the same end.

The Liposome Co. Inc. (LIPO), Liposome Technology Inc. (LTIZ) and Vestar Inc. (VSTR) all are applying related technology to already existing drugs for the same market. But their individual assumptions about trial data, time to market, physician interest and off-label use have resulted in different approaches.

The largest market for the anticancer drug doxorubicin is solid tumors. Breast cancer is the major use of the drug.

'Largest share'

LIPO has chosen to address that market directly with its D-99 liposomal formulation. "We've gone for the indication that's representative of the largest share of the market," said Edward Silverman, vice president of strategic planning and business development. "It's reasonable