Biogen Idec (BIIB) was forced to pull Tysabri off the market because the multiple sclerosis drug was found to cause a serious and often fatal brain infection in a small percentage of patients. Biogen was able to return Tysabri to the market because the drug was very effective in treating multiple sclerosis -- more so than competing MS drugs. Patients demanded the Tysabri's return, believing the safety risks were acceptable. FDA agreed.
Affymax isn't likely to find kidney dialysis patients clamoring for Omontys' return. The drug's benefits aren't compelling enough and the risks too great, particularly since anemia can be treated just as effectively with Epogen.
Omontys sales in the first nine months of 2012 totaled $34.6 million, compared to Epogen sales of $1.5 billion in the same time period. With the recall, closing that chasm further will be a real challenge and with no other drugs in development as a backup, investors are right to question why Affymax shouldn't just shut down.
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.Follow @AdamFeuerstein
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV