Reata, a no show at ASN Kidney Week

What do you do when your tentpole molecule fails it’s phase three clinical trial? I guess you don’t even build your booth at Renal Week.

At Kidney Week 2010 in Denver, Reata presented the results of BEAM, the phase II trial of bardoxolone as part of the late breaking clinical trial data. They shocked the world by showing increased GFR in diabetic nephropathy. The data was published in the NEJM in July 2011. But even before publishing they began work on the phase III trial, BEACON.

I can attest to the excitement that BEACON generated. I was not an investigator but I did enroll one patient in the trial and even had friends calling me trying to get loved ones in the trial. I outlined my experience with bardoxolone in the diabetic nephropathy talk that I gave to the Michigan State Medical Society (Keynote | PDF). On October 18th, Reata terminated BEACON due to “excess serious adverse events and mortality.”

Unfortunately, October 18th was only 2 weeks before the Start of KidneyWeek 2012, the premier nephrology conference in the U.S. Reata had already signed on with the American Society of Nephrology to be a Diamond Level Sponsor:

Not only were they a Diamond Sponsor, but they had bought top billing on the Abstract Book with a full page ad on the back cover:

The ad implores you join them at booth 1529. I went by there just to see how the company would try to spin this disaster. But there was no booth 1529. The map shows it between Amgen and Otsuka, but there is just a pharmacy and an EMR company in its place. It’s like the opposite of when Obi-Wan goes to Yoda trying to find the Planet Kamino.

Lost a Planet Master Obi-Wan Has

Poor Reata. Evidence-based medicine can be such a bitch.

I’d show pictures, but taking pictures of the booths is forbidden by ASN policy. Whisky Tango Foxtrot