Introduction: This perspective summarizes 42 drug projects in the general areas of endocrine and metabolic diseases that were reported discontinued during 2012.
Areas covered: These programs include development projects against diabetes, metabolic complications (including kidney and liver disease), as well as projects that can be described as approaches to treatment of obesity/anorexia, lipids and various inflammatory diseases. Candidates were identified from a search by Informa Healthcare including data available on TreasureTrove as provided by EOID. Additional information was sought using Google, PubMed, HighWire and ClinicalTrials.gov.
Expert opinion: The summary of discontinued projects in this area for 2012 provides little in the way of specific guidance especially since details of the fate of most projects are often lacking. Nonetheless, it seems clear that none of these projects has hit upon the key aspects of the pathophysiology of the disorders that they were intended to treat, and the most likely cause of failure is the lack of the ability to produce compelling evidence to support the respective business case in the sense of efficacy/potential therapeutic profile.