Eighteen months ago, life looked bleak for more than a few biotech companies. A number had cash reserves of only a few months in an equity environment that was less than generous. These companies faced major management choices: cut programs and employees and hope for bare-bones survival, or maintain programs and employees and hope that the money would come through to support them.

The former is in some ways the easier choice because it's more obvious how the numbers will add up. However, it can cause investors to lose interest if it appears that the business has sacrificed its growth potential and potential ROI. Therefore the result can be short-term survival followed by a drawn-out death.