ARTICLE | Strategy

Incrementalists beware

October 13, 2008 7:00 AM UTC

Exemplifying the difference between an asset that might provide incremental medical benefit but not be a financial success in today's reimbursement environment, Pharmacopeia Inc. was unable to find a partner to fund development of its lead dual angiotensin and endothelin receptor antagonist (DARA), despite positive Phase IIa data. Running low on cash and unable to access the capital markets, the company sold itself to Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. late last month for $54 million in stock.

After having had a hand in discovering a multitude of small molecules that are now being moved through the clinic by pharma partners, Pharmacopeia made its first foray into the clinic in 2007. Its agent acted via a dual mechanism by addressing a pair of validated targets, an approach the company believed would prove more effective at lowering blood pressure than marketed drugs (see BioCentury, Feb. 19, 2007)...