As news watchers come to realize, seemingly independent events have a way of piling up on themselves and pushing other topics into the background. With the stars thus aligned, it becomes impossible to ignore the theme that joins the flow of events. In biotech, through no concerted effort of anyone in particular, there have been weeks where the industry seems entirely preoccupied with agbio, angiogenesis or price controls.

Last week, BioCentury found that it had reported on a spate of interesting product development stories that represent a rich range of dilemmas and decisions that crop up in the course of bringing a drug candidate through the clinic. They included disappointing results in the face of a strong biological rationale for success; problems recruiting a patient population; the well-known but often ignored consequences of failing to invest in Phase II studies; finding a molecule to fit the market opportunity; dropping an indication for a lead agent; and making the most of an asset that stumbles in the clinic. This Technology Briefing reviews the week of product crossroads.