HSP90 inhibitors destabilize oncoproteins associated with cell cycle, angiogenesis, RAS-MAPK activity, histone modification, kinases and growth factors. We evaluated the HSP90-inhibitor ganetespib in combination with standard chemotherapy in patients with high-risk early-stage breast cancer. I-SPY2 is a multicenter, phase II adaptively randomized neoadjuvant (NAC) clinical trial enrolling patients with stage II-III breast cancer with tumors 2.5 cm or larger on the basis of hormone receptors (HR), HER2 and Mammaprint status. Multiple novel investigational agents plus standard chemotherapy are evaluated in parallel for the primary endpoint of pathologic complete response (pCR). Patients with HER2-negative breast cancer were eligible for randomization to ganetespib from October 2014 to October 2015. Of 233 women included in the final analysis, 140 were randomized to the standard NAC control; 93 were randomized to receive 150 mg/m2 ganetespib every 3 weeks with weekly paclitaxel over 12 weeks, followed by AC. Arms were balanced for hormone receptor status (51–52% HR-positive). Ganetespib did not graduate in any of the biomarker signatures studied before reaching maximum enrollment. Final estimated pCR rates were 26% vs. 18% HER2-negative, 38% vs. 22% HR-negative/HER2-negative, and 15% vs. 14% HR-positive/HER2-negative for ganetespib vs control, respectively. The predicted probability of success in phase 3 testing was 47% HER2-negative, 72% HR-negative/HER2-negative, and 19% HR-positive/HER2-negative. Ganetespib added to standard therapy is unlikely to yield substantially higher pCR rates in HER2-negative breast cancer compared to standard NAC, and neither HSP90 pathway nor replicative stress expression markers predicted response. HSP90 inhibitors remain of limited clinical interest in breast cancer, potentially in other clinical settings such as HER2-positive disease or in combination with anti-PD1 neoadjuvant chemotherapy in triple negative breast cancer.