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  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Where Drugs Come From

    There have been several hearings in Washington on the drug industry and drug prices, and there are going to be more. Drug pricing is a large and messy issue, for sure, and all I’ll say about it today is to ask everyone to read Jack Scannell on it before expressing an opinion. I’m not going… Read More
  • Biological News

    Precision Medicine Real Soon Now

    Here’s a strongly opinionated look at where the “precision medicine” field is these days, and I think that this is just the sort of article that the field (and the journalists covering it) need to see, whether you agree with it or not: In 1999 Francis Collins published a foundational document of precision medicine entitled… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Another Alzheimer’s Antibody Fails. There Will Be More.

    To what should be absolutely no human being’s surprise, another amyloid-antibody trial has failed. Roche announced today that the Phase III work (two 750-patient trials) on crenezumab after an interim analysis showed a strong chance of futility. They’re still going on with a study in familial early-onset disease in Colombia, and they ha… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Defending Drug Synthesis

    This article from Science is a good look at the scientific state of organic synthesis in the pharmaceutical industry. It covers a range of topics which will be familiar to regular readers of this blog as well: synthetic advances such as late-stage functionalization, new bond-forming techniques (photoredox chemistry in particular), the intersection… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Blue Light Gives Way to Red

    Photochemistry’s rise over the last ten years or so has been one of the big stories in organic chemistry, but there are still some difficulties with using it. The use of photoredox catalysts has brought blue light into a lot of fume hoods, which is certainly more selective and easier to use than than old… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    A New Infectious Mechanism for Alzheimer’s?

    We have another entry in the “Is Alzheimer’s caused by infectious disease?” drawing, and it’s a good one. A large multicenter team reports that Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is the key pathogen in gingivitis (gum disease) may be the actual causative agent in Alzheimer’s, which is a bold claim indeed. But they have… Read More
  • Biological News

    Exercise And Its Signaling

    It’s a truism among metabolic researchers that if you could find a drug that simulates the effects of exercise you would be very happy with the market for it. But what causes the effects of exercise? That’s one of those simple questions that members of the general public might think that they know the answer… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Leo Paquette, 1934-2019

    So Leo Paquette has died, age 84 – he had been ill for some years (Parkinson’s). Paquette will be well-known to any synthetic organic chemist; his research group at Ohio State had a long record of contributions to the literature. This PDF from the Baran group is an excellent summary of his work, which is… Read More
  • Biological News

    Quinine’s Target

    Every “history of pharmaceuticals” article ever written probably mentions quinine, and well they should. (I certainly reserved an entry for it while writing my own chemical history book). It’s a classic example of a natural product drug, one that was not known to the classical Mediterranean world but was only appreciated by Europe… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Automated Route Finding (and Patent Busting)

    Here’s another look at retrosynthesis software, building on the earlier Chematica paper that looked at generating new routes to known compounds. This is a more detailed look at the same idea, using the software to both analyze the existing routes to marketed drugs (and the patent landscape around them) and to come up with new… Read More
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