The Varieties of Pharma Disclosure

The variations around corporate disclosure displayed by pharma companies generally fall in a range from amusing to frustrating to baffling. Over the past month, three contrasting approaches crossed our radar, and warrant mention:
1) Acadia Pharmaceuticals waited until the AAN meeting to unveil more detail about efficacy the pimavanserin results in Phase III than had been disclosed in their original PR. The stock price immediately and dramatically responded positively. We understand why a small company wants to have their ‘moment’ at a high-profile professional meeting, but we can imagine anyone who had sold their Acadia stock prior to AAN might feel that this was material information that should have been disclosed right away.
2) Merck‘s drug development group provided a reasonably (for big pharma) full discussion of the suvoxerant Phase III results, which was refreshing. But when it came to the actual NDA filing, Merck (almost certainly not the drug development people, but rather someone in legal/regulatory) refused to disclose when the filing was made, or what the PDUFA date is likely to be. That’s just silly. It is not as if there is a flock of competing orexin-antagonists, or even insomnia alternatives, for whom this might be fantasized as constituting useful competitive information. It’s an evocation of corporate lockjaw based on policy, not pragmatics, and is an anachronism that at the very least, communicates hubris. Secrecy is an outmoded and counterproductive default option–if there is no discernible rationale for withholding information, what is the point beyond ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’?
3) On the other side of the spectrum, Sunovion has for the past couple of years quietly shared data in professional settings in the service of promoting the concept of pre-competitive space, helping others learn from their experience. Some companies pay lip service to the concept of advancing drug development through prudent collaboration and information sharing, Sunovion has consistently ‘walked the walk’, more than any other pharma company that we know.

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One Response to The Varieties of Pharma Disclosure

  1. I was pleasantly surprised by the increase in ACAD’s sp but confess to finding nothing new about the 020 trial that wasn’t known before AAN. I have not seen the poster and was not in attendance at AAN so I may be missing something that only the attendees saw. The 3 minute blitz presentation by Dr Cummings probably was not enough time to go into detail. The stock might have gone up because pharmas wanted an upclose inspection to verify the data was as effective and safe as 1st reported. Curious if you were there what you thought of the presentation and poster. TIA- Mike Guiltinan

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