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Posts tagged with "Drug Industry History"

  • Cancer

    PI3K Inhibitors: You’re Doing It Wrong

    Now here’s an interesting connection between cancer and metabolism, with what look to be direct implications for therapy. A large research team (mostly working out of Weill Cornell) reports some new and important details about PI3K inhibitors, a class of kinase inhibitors that has seen a very large amount of development work indeed. I’v… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Failure Shouldn’t Be Such an Orphan

    The drug industry has  a huge stockpile of results on projects that have not worked. That much is clear – clinical success rates continue at about 10%, on average, so we have a steady stream failures of all kinds, for all reasons. It would be foolish not to learn as much as we could from… Read More
  • Biological News

    Engineering Biology, For Real?

    Any article titled “How to Engineer Biology” is going to get a look from me – and when I’m referenced in the opening paragraphs, especially so. This is a piece by Vijay Pande in Scientific American, and I get called out for my naming of the “Andy Grove Fallacy” (found in this post and the… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Ligand Efficiency Rethought

    Peter Kenny has a paper out on ligand efficiency that’s required reading for medicinal chemists using (or thinking about) that concept as a design tool. I’d recommend reading it with this recent paper – between the two of them, you’re going to have references to a huge swath of the literature on how to measure… Read More
  • 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
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