11 biotech companies filed for bankruptcy this year, which makes 2019 biotech’s worst year in a decade. Until now, it’s been almost impossible for well-funded biotech companies to fail. But a number of issues ranging from dangerous drugs to unsavory characters have shown that even medicine isn’t too big to fail. So just what went down?
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is perhaps the most notable name to go down. Legal liabilities stemming from the opioid crisis have finally fatally bitten this once high-flying bad boy in the ass. Its bankruptcy filing seeks to settle a whopping 2.6k federal and state lawsuits by dedicating all company assets to the betterment of the American public.
But this isn’t a done deal. Numerous states don’t wanna settle, and argue that Purdue’s assessed value of $10B is based on “optimistic calculations.” In the midst of an epidemic that claims thousands of lives, ain’t nobody got time for that. Other opioid makers are nervously on notice.
And there’s no love lost on a pharmabro
Martin Shkreli, the hedge fund manager turned pharmaceutical CEO, was sentenced to 7 years in prison on federal fraud charges… but not before he purchased a single-copy Wu-Tang Clan album for $2m and raised the price of a 60-year-old drug by 5k%.
One offense was simply cultural — how does a wanker like that abscond with such a prize?
The other was far more serious. Daraprim is a life-saving drug used to treat complications in HIV/AIDS and cancer patients. Under Shrkeli’s leadership, it went from $13.50/pill to $750/pill. Shkreli argued he was acting in the best interest of investors, but c’mon.
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