Disclosure: The author has a short position in one or more of the shares mentioned. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
In the mid nineties the flagship of UK biotech was British Biotech a constituent of the FTSE 100 share index with a valuation of £1.5 billion. The company enjoyed the support of the leading healthcare analyst, Dr Ian White, and rode high on a supposed inhibitor for cancer called marimastat. In my swansong as a financial journalist I wrote a devastating critique in the Mail on Sunday in the summer of 1996 with on the record quotes from leading oncologists in Edinburgh and London. Subsequent investigations on both sides of the Atlantic found that the company “had wilfully misled the public about the progress of marimastat”. British Biotech collapsed.
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