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Posts tagged with "Drug Industry History"

  • Business and Markets

    German Pharma, Or What’s Left of It

    Busy day around here on the frontiers of science, so I haven’t had a chance to get a post up. A reader did send along this article from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the heavyweight German newspaper known as the “Fahts” (FAZ). (The Chrome browser will run Google’s auto-translate past it if you ask, and it… Read More
  • Drug Industry History

    The Early FDA

    Here’s a short video history of the FDA, courtesy of BioCentury TV. The early days, especially Harvey Wiley and the “Poison Squad”, are truly wild and alarming by today’s standards. But then, the products that were on the market back then were pretty alarming, too. . . Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Drug Repurposing

    A reader has sent along the question: “Have any repurposed drugs actually been approved for their new indication?” And initially, I thought, confidently but rather blankly, “Well, certainly, there’s. . . and. . .hmm”, but then the biggest example hit me: thalidomide. It was, infamously, a sedative and remedy for mornin… Read More
  • Chemical News

    The Smallest Drugs

    Here is the updated version of the “smallest drugs” collection that I did the other day. Here are the criteria I used: the molecular weight cutoff was set, arbitrarily, at aspirin’s 180. I excluded the inhaled anaesthetics, only allowing things that are oils or solids in their form of use. As a small-molecule organic chemist… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    A New Look at Phenotypic Screening

    There have been several analyses that have suggested that phenotypic drug discovery was unusually effective in delivering “first in class” drugs. Now comes a reworking of that question, and these authors (Jörg Eder, Richard Sedrani, and Christian Wiesmann of Novartis) find plenty of room to question that conclusion. What they’ve… Read More
  • Drug Industry History

    Small Molecules – Really, Really Small

    Mentioning such a small compound as pirfenidone prompts me to put up the graphic shown below: these are the smallest commonly used drugs that I can think of. (OK, there’s cocaine as a nasal anaesthetic – no, really – but that’s where I draw the line at “commonly used”. Nominations for ones that I’ve missed… Read More
  • Cancer

    The Palbociclib Saga: Or Why We Need a Lot of Drug Companies

    Science has an article by journalist Ken Garber on palbociclib, the Pfizer CDK4 compound that came up here the other day when we were discussing their oncology portfolio. You can read up on the details of how the compound was put in the fridge for several years, only to finally emerge as one of the… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Did Pfizer Cut Back Some of Its Best Compounds?

    John LaMattina has a look at Pfizer’s oncology portfolio, and what their relentless budget-cutting has been doing to it. The company is taking some criticism for having outlicensed two compounds (tremelimumab to AstraZeneca and neratinib to Puma) which seem to be performing very well after Pfizer ditched them. Here’s LaMattina (a former… Read More
  • Drug Industry History

    Abandoned Pharma

    It’s not the most cheerful topic in the world, but NPR recently had an item on the decommissioned pharma research sites of New Jersey (of which there are many). Some of these are quite large, and correspondingly hard to unload onto anyone else. (This is, of course, a problem that is not unique to New… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    The Antibiotic Gap: It’s All of the Above

    Here’s a business-section column at the New York Times on the problem of antibiotic drug discovery. To those of us following the industry, the problems of antibiotic drug discovery are big pieces of furniture that we’ve lived with all our lives; we hardly even notice if we bump into them again. You’d think that readers… Read More