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  • Chemical News

    Ark Pharm’s Shady Side

    Once in a while we have discussions of chemical suppliers around here – but we haven’t had one like this. On Friday afternoon, word came out that Ark Pharm, a reasonably well-known firm out of Chicago, had been raided by the DEA. That becomes abundantly clear if you try to access the company’s web site. Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    The FDA’s Latest Actions and Problems

    It’s been clear for many years now that some drug companies are abusing the “restricted distribution” idea to keep generic competitors from being able to enter their markets. That, in fact, was a basic part of Martin Shkreli’s entire business plan, but guess what? He was not the first person to think of doing that… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Birch Reactions Without the Ammonia

    The Birch reduction – there’s an old-school synthetic transformation from you. I thought that when I first did one in 1983, so it must be even more so now, right? You condense liquid ammonia and dissolve a reactive metal in it (sodium or lithium are the usual), giving you a rather unexpected blue solution. That… Read More
  • Cancer

    A Glioblastoma Vaccine? Not Yet.

    If you get your biomedical breaking news from the British press, you will have heard all about a very promising vaccine treatment for glioblastoma. (“Remarkably promising” – BBC. “Could add years” – The Guardian. And there’s the Daily Mail (naturally), The Independent, and more). That would be good news, b… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Organometallic Oddities

    Synthetic organic chemists spend a lot of time using organometallic coupling reactions, because they can be such great ways to make carbon-carbon (and carbon-heteroatom) bonds. And that’s the currency of the realm: do you want to build up larger molecules from smaller precursors in a controlled fashion? You’re going to have to make bond… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Federal Right to Try

    So it looks like a Right-to-Try bill is going to be signed into law. People who have been advocating this for years will now get a chance to see how it works out in practice – and in fact, I would encourage them to go ahead and put down some predictions about what they think… Read More
  • Chemical News

    A Closed Loop

    This is not a paper that’s going to make everyone who reads it happy, but it needs to be read anyway. A collaboration between the University of Helsinki, LifeArc (which looks to be one of the small companies in the former Stevenage pharma campus) and Cyclofluidic reports development of inhibitors against hepsin, a serine protease… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Fluoroquinolone Trouble Untangled

    The fluoroquinolone antibiotics are important drugs indeed – ciprofloxacin is probably the most famous of the bunch, but there’s a whole series of them, and they’re widely used for serious bacterial infections. (I last wrote about them here, with the various arguments about how they were developed in the first place). But for many… 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
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Clicked DNA: From Lab Curiosity to Analytical Technique

    I’ve written a few times about an odd sort of unnatural DNA sequence, where some of the nucleotides are connected via “click” triazole units rather than the traditional polyphosphate backbone. I remember wondering what the chemical biology community would make out of these things, and I wanted to report on at least one ingenious a… Read More
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