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  • Drug Prices

    Blame the FDA for This Fiasco

    Back in 2013 and again in 2016, I wrote about Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, a South Florida company whose business plan I found repellant. That’s because said plan involved running an old generic compound (3,4-diaminopyridine) through the FDA modern approval process, which under the agency’s rules would grant them market exclusivity. I have… Read More
  • Biological News

    Right Side, Left Side

    I wrote here about chirality, on several levels, finishing up with some speculations on how we know our left hands from our right and why. As mentioned in that post, that’s one of those questions that can sound stupid and/or trivial until you start to think about it, and as the comments section proved, things… Read More
  • Architecture and Productivity: Four Theses

    I certainly enjoyed this review of a new book, Laboratory Lifestyles, in Nature. This is a look at research buildings and the behavior of scientists in them, and will for many reopen a lot of arguments. Open offices? Open-plan lab space? Where do the break areas go, and the conference rooms? What do they look… Read More
  • Biological News

    Tumor-Specific Antigens From Way Out There

    The pileup in immuno-oncology is already the stuff of legend: it’s difficult to even count the number of therapies, combinations, and clinical trials that are underway or in development. And that’s for good reason, of course – the promise here is huge, the field is wide open, and there are vast tracts of things that… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Ah, Just Pour It Into Salt Water

    Today’s post is one for my fellow organic chemists to wonder over. This new paper from a group at the University of Bari describes a palladium-catalyzed coupling reaction of alkyllithiums and aryl halides. And that in itself is not that remarkable – it’s not easy to get that combination to go, not least because you might… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    CA Days

    A brief discussion the other day on Twitter got me to thinking about the lost world of literature searching – back when everything was bound journals and paper. My whole grad school career took place in the pre-PDF world, and a good part of it was pre-CAS Online. So those of you from that era… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Worse Than Useless

    Time for another look at AbbVie’s work on Rova-T (an antibody-drug conjugate targeting the tumor antigen DLL3), and for some hard thoughts about what drug development is really like. The last time I wrote about this program, things didn’t look good. Now they look even worse. A Phase III trial of the drug has been… Read More
  • Cancer

    Mannose and Cancer

    I’m always happy to see something show up in the research literature that can be immediately applied in clinical practice. Working in drug discovery, you get used to everything maybe having an impact years in the future, if everything works out (and it rarely does!) So when you see an actionable idea that applies to… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Whatever Happened to Insourcing? The Case of AMRI/Lilly

    Albany Molecular (AMRI) has been a big name in contract research for many years now. They’ve had a lot of twists and turns in their history, including being taken private a couple of years ago after having taken on a good deal of debt by acquiring other companies in turn. But it sounds like they’re… Read More
  • In Silico

    The Latest on Protein Folding

    The results of the biannual CASP (Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction) effort have been released. This is a widely-watched competition between different groups (and different programs, methods, hardware, etc.) to see how well protein structures can be predicted de novo from just the protein sequences themselves. In the main category, the or… Read More
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