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Stockwatch: Burying products that fade to black

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

There is a little-recognised category of development pharmaceutical products that seem to hang around for years, having very slow progress through clinical trials and then one day, they quietly disappear all together from the company’s pipeline. One renowned London-based fund manager used to honor the practice with the phrase “pharma buries its dead at night”. This used to be quite true up to about 2003, but the rise of the patent cliff has brought greater scrutiny to pharmaceutical companies’ pipelines.

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