The company: Savient
The drug: Krystexxa
The disease: Gout
Sales: $4.5 million for Q3 2012
Nothing turned out right for Savient ($SVNT). The company had hoped that a much bigger fish would come along to acquire it after winning approval for its gout drug Krystexxa. But the buyout never materialized--and neither did sales. After launching the treatment solo, Savient garnered revenue of only $3 million and change in the first quarter of this year.
The next step may well have been written into stone--or a Harvard Business School case study. About a third of the company's employees got the ax as Savient gave up on the primary care field and zeroed in on specialists.
After the cutbacks, Savient had only 35 reps in the field. Its interim CEO, David Norton, was one of the casualties of the losing drug marketing battle. Norton had replaced John Johnson, who leaped from the frying pan into the fire at Dendreon. Then a disgruntled creditor, Tang Capital Partners, tried to force the company into receivership, saying the company had breached its fiduciary responsibilities.
In a rare bit of good news, the biotech won that round when a judge tossed the complaint.
But it hasn't been an entirely bad year for Savient. Q3 sales perked up a bit and a positive opinion from European experts raised hopes of a deal. Of course, with meager sales in the U.S., what could a European pact be worth?
Savient loses on low Krystexxa sales, adopts poison pill
Tang Capital can't shuttle Savient into receivership, judge says
Amid Krystexxa woes, Savient plots layoffs and taps new CEO
Hedge fund claims Savient's bankrupt after failed Krystexxa launch