It also protects patients from participating in clinical trials treatments that are doomed to fail. From an ethical standpoint, we have to safeguard patients’ interests, which mean not giving them a drug that has already failed because you are hoping to get lucky this time around.
This has always been a challenge for drug developers. These molecules are their babies and they want to do everything they can to transform them into successful treatments. When a drug isn’t working, it can be painful to cut it loose, but we have to learn to be dispassionate. As soon as you realize a drug isn’t going anywhere, you have to cut your losses, and put those resources into another project with more promise.