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Posts tagged with "Drug Industry History"

  • Cancer

    The Cancer Stem Cell Saga

    In this 2015 post I looked at the cancer stem cell field – the idea that some tumor types are kept going by a stem cell population, and that unless these are dealt with, no durable response to treatment can be expected. A number of pharma companies have looked into this idea, most famously (and… Read More
  • Biological News

    The Chemistry Nobels, 2018

    The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has gone to Frances Arnold (for directed evolution of enzymes) and to George Smith and Gregory Winter for phage display. These are worthy discoveries, techniques that have gone on to be used for a huge variety of work ranging from blue-sky research to marketed drugs, and the Nobel committee… Read More
  • Cancer

    A Nobel for Immuno-Oncology

    As many had expected, the Nobel prize in medicine/physiology this year recognizes advances in immuno-oncology: James Allison (for CTLA4) and Tasuku Honjo (PD-1). For some years now, that has been a huge, massive, unstoppable wave in cancer research, and I would not want to try to estimate how much time, effort, and money has gone… Read More
  • Cancer

    Why Not Target DNA? Well. . .

    There are all sorts of small-molecule drugs that bind to protein targets. Active sites of enzymes are, of course, a big subset of those, but there are plenty of enzymes whose allosteric sites are known to host synthetic ligands as well. Membrane receptor and ion channel proteins get both of those mechanisms too, and then… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Gene Therapy for Duchenne

    I have said unkind things about Sarepta’s drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Exondys (eteplirsen). That’s because I did not think that there was enough information to approve it at the FDA, and I had trouble believing that its biochemical effects were enough to be meaningful in general. I have no reason to modify those opinions… Read More
  • Drug Development

    How to Be a Good Medicinal Chemist

    Longtime medicinal chemist Mark Murcko has a Perspective article out in J. Med. Chem. on “What Makes a Great Medicinal Chemist“. As he makes clear from the beginning, if you’ve been doing this stuff for a while, you’ve likely heard many of these recommendations before. But it’s useful for people starting out, and it… Read More
  • Cancer

    Cancer Sequencing Hype And Reality

    This piece in Science says something that needs to be said louder and more publicly. If you live in the US, you’ve surely seen various cancer treatment centers talking about their personalized therapy plans, and especially how they’ll tailor things to your DNA sequence and so on. You would get the impression that we have… Read More
  • Cancer

    IDO Appears to Have Wiped Out

    We have the answer to a question posed here earlier this month. That was after the Merck/Incyte failure of a combination of Keytruda and Incyte’s IDO (indole 2,3-dioxygenase) inhibitor. That mechanism was supposed to increase T-cell activity, but the trial showed it to have no effect on Keytruda’s efficacy at all. Earlier IDO trials had… Read More
  • Drug Development

    BenevolentAI: Worth Two Billion?

    Regular readers will know that I have no problem believing that AI (in its various forms) will definitely have an impact on drug discovery. And regular readers will also know that I’m quite skeptical that it’s going to have an immediate impact on the high-level functions of drug discovery (what target to go after, what… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Cost of Trials

    There’s been an interesting discussion about pharma R&D productivity and drug pricing on Twitter the last few days – here’s the starting point, from John Tucker. His thesis is that the hefty rate of inflation for medical services/hospitalization, where the data seem alarmingly solid, is one of the things driving the problem. T… Read More
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