Unfortunately, Amgen's findings are consistent with those of others in industry. A team at Bayer HealthCare in Germany last year reported that only about 25% of published preclinical studies could be validated to the point at which projects could continue. Notably, published cancer research represented 70% of the studies analysed in that report, some of which might overlap with the 53 papers examined at Amgen. ...
Some non-reproducible preclinical papers had spawned an entire field, with hundreds of secondary publications that expanded on elements of the original observation, but did not actually seek to confirm or falsify its fundamental basis. More troubling, some of the research has triggered a series of clinical studies — suggesting that many patients had subjected themselves to a trial of a regimen or agent that probably wouldn't work.
Preclinical research generates many secondary publications, even when results cannot be reproduced.
--C. Glenn Begley (former global head of Hematology and Oncology Research at Amgen) and Lee M. Ellis, Nature, on one reason the war on cancer isn't progressing quickly