By Michael Goodman, Contributing Writer
For most small-cap, precommercial biotechs, having a partner return a marquee program can be a nightmare scenario. Will the market view the returned assets as tainted? How will it fund the remaining clinical costs? Will it need to reduce staff, pause programs, or otherwise cut corners? In 2016 TEVA Pharmaceuticals returned rights to Mesoblast for its allogeneic stem cell treatment for advanced heart failure. TEVA, which had funded development of the program, had brought it to Phase 3, leaving Mesoblast to shoulder the cost to finish the trial as well as three other late-stage programs it was advancing internally.