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Posts tagged with "Life in the Drug Labs"

  • Drug Industry History

    Drug Company Culture: It’s Not Helping

    I wanted to call attention to a piece by Bruce Booth over at Forbes. He starts off from the Scannell paper in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery that we were discussing here recently, but he goes on to another factor. And it’s a big one: culture. Fundamentally, I think the bulk of the last decade’s productivity… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    What Makes a Beautiful Molecule?

    A reader sent along this question for the medicinal chemists in the crowd: we spend a lot of time thinking about what makes a molecule ugly (by our standards). But what about the flip side? What makes a molecule beautiful? That’s a hard one to answer, because, well, eye of the beholder and all that. Read More
  • Drug Development

    Winning Ugly and Failing Gracefully

    A recent discussion with colleagues turned around the question: “Would you rather succeed ugly or fail gracefully?” In drug discovery terms, that could be rephrased “Would you rather get a compound through the clinic after wrestling with a marginal structure, worrying about tox, having to fix the formulation three times, and so on… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Dealing with the Data

    So how do we deal with the piles of data? A reader sent along this question, and it’s worth thinking about. Drug research – even the preclinical kind – generates an awful lot of information. The other day, it was pointed out that one of our projects, if you expanded everything out, would be displayed… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs


    The carbonyl group is one of the most fundamental structure in organic chemistry: C-double-bond-O. But you can substitute that oxygen with a sulfur and get to a whole new series of compounds – so how come we don’t see so many of those in drugs? Well, not all of them are stable. Plain old thioketones… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    A Response From Sanofi

    The large number of comments on yesterday’s post on Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher’s relentless candid interview included a response from someone at the company itself. At least, I have to assume that it is indeed Jack Cox, Senior Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations (as his LinkedIn profile has it), since the name and… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    What Sanofi Thinks About You

    In case you’re a scientist, and especially if you’re a scientist at Sanofi, their CEO Chris Viehbacher would like you to know some things. What things are those, you ask? Well, how about your position in the world, and especially your position at Sanofi itself? “What Sanofi is doing is reducing its own internal research… Read More
  • Drug Development

    Scaling Up a Strange Dinitro Compound (And Others)

    I wrote here about a very unusual dinitro compound that’s in the clinic in oncology. Now there’s a synthetic chemistry follow-up, in the form of a paper in Organic Process R&D. It’s safe to say that most process and scale-up chemists are never going to have to worry about making a gem-dinitroazetidine – or, for… Read More
  • How Not to Do It

    When Reagents Attack!

    Well, since I was just talking about a reagent that can potentially take off without warning, I wanted to solicit vivid experiences from the crowd. What’s a compound that you’ve made that did something violently unexpected? I can recall making some para-methoxybenzyl chloride in grad school (for a protecting group; I was running out of… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Potassium Hydride Is Not Your Friend

    Noted chem-blogger Milkshake seems to have had a close call with a fire started by a tiny potassium hydride residue. It looks like he made it through without serious injury, but that sort of thing will definitely shake a person up. I hate potassium hydride. Its relative sodium hydride is a common reagent, but it’s… Read More