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Posts tagged with "Uncategorized"

  • Drug Industry History

    Reading the Minds of Medicinal Chemists

    I suppose that all of us medicinal chemists should be flattered by this press release. According to it: Medicinal chemistry is among one of the most important and intellectually-challenging professions on the planet. It takes decades of training and experience to learn the properties of the thousands of molecules and their effects on the biological… Read More
  • Animal Testing

    Melanocortin: It’s Not Just For Lizards Any More

    If you’re looking for a good example of evolution-as-a-tinkerer, the melanocortin receptors would be a good place to start. From a single starting point, they’ve ended up as a family of related proteins that do completely different things. And the hormones that bind to them have radiated out as well: they’re all derived by process… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    A Grim Future? Here Are the Numbers.

    Here’s a bracing look at the state of the pharma business, especially regarding R&D costs and return on investment. And let me warn you – it’s not a feel-good sort of article, but the figures are hard to refute. The author, Kelvin Stott, comes out swinging: Here I apply a far simpler, much more robust… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Stereochemical Mysteries, Solved

    Ask a chemist (I’ll do) about optical rotation, and you’ll get a confident answer about how right- and left-handed isomers of chiral compounds will rotate polarized light that shines through a solution of one of them. Ask one of us exactly how it does that, and in 99 cases out of a hundred, you’ll witness… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    HAT Inhibitors: Interpret With Care

    There are quite a few histone deacetylase inhibitors out there, from research tools to FDA-approved drugs. Those inhibit the enzymes that remove the acetyl epigenetic markers from histone proteins – but what about inhibitors of the enzymes that put them on? Those are histone acetyltransferases (HATs), and they’ve naturally been the subj… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    An Odd Paper?

    Nanoparticles came up around here the other day, and now a reader sends along a new paper in the field that’s. . .a bit odd. Maybe more than a bit. It’s been accepted at ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, and you have to wonder what the referee reports were like. It’s titled “Earthicle: The Design… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Poke Holes Through Your Membranes. It’s Fun.

    The cell membrane – the fundamental architecture of living things, the foundation of how our very bodies are organized – is a major pain in the behind. I express this ungrateful opinion merely because over the years it has rejected entry to some of my best ideas for drug candidates, and I bear a grudge. Read More
  • Chemical News

    How Many of Those Compounds Are Crap?

    A reader sent along a note about this letter to Nature Medicine earlier in the year. It’s about drug repurposing, and more specifically about the Drug Repurposing Hub at the Broad Institute. This is a collection of nearly 5,000 compounds, curated and annotated with their histories and activities. It was not a straightforward task: . Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Not How You Speed the Process Up, Exactly

    Now, this truly does not sound like the way to run a clinical trial. Dr. William Halford of the Rational Vaccines company invited 20 patients to St. Kitts for a trial of a putative herpes vaccine. The consent forms explicitly stated that this was done to evade the jurisdiction of the US Food and Drug… Read More
  • Biological News

    Small Proteins: Into the Gap

    We medicinal chemists are used to thinking about small molecule drugs – it’s what we do. And we’re also comfortable with having a category in our worldview that we assign to “biologics” – proteins, mostly, many of them antibodies, which can also be extremely therapeutically effective under the right conditions. B… Read More
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