The cancellation of a drug formulation partnership between Alkermes Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Co. is a reminder that such deals are really experiments, and pharma companies often pursue multiple routes to the same end simultaneously.

R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (Raritan, N.J.), a JNJ subsidiary, last week terminated development of a injectable formulation of erythropoietin using ALKS's ProLease sustained-release formulation technology. The January 1998