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  • "Me Too" Drugs

    Adam Smith Goes Pharmaceutical

    As readers will have noted in my comments on drugs like Clarinex and Nexium, I certainly don’t think the industry I work in is always a one-hundred-percent benefactor of humanity. Drug companies are here to make money, and (like any business) they’re trying to make the most money they can, consistent with their tolerance for… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    A Clean Lab is A Happy Lab

    I’ve been throwing away piles of junk from my desk the last few days, and I can now see the darn thing again. My fume hood and lab bench need a bit of organizing, too, but they don’t get as bad as they used to when I worked in them full-time. The desk, though, has… Read More
  • Aging and Lifespan

    When Natural Selection’s Through With You – Part II

    Another useful paper (Science 296, 1276) has come out on the mechanisms of aging. Ever since the 1950s, the idea of accumulating free radical damage has been a strong contender, to the point that it’s been absorbed into popular culture. All the free radicals needed for this damage to take place are produced by our… Read More
  • Drug Development

    It’s Not Pretty, But It Works

    Charles Murtaugh has an interesting piece on drug discovery, and invites me to correct any misstatements that he may have made. Hey, under my no-sparrow-shall-fall policy on mentions of drug discovery in the blogosphere, I’d have put my oar in anyway. Charles’s main point is exactly right: that discoveries in the medical/biotech field a… Read More
  • Birth of an Idea

    In Case Anyone’s Wondering

    I’m still working on the research idea I’ve been talking about. New data from some of my colleagues is helping out quite a bit, but it means changing the experimental design quite a bit, too. Beats flying blind, though, I have to say. Things have moved from the blast-of-inspiration stage to the get-this-thing-to-work stage. That’s… Read More
  • "Me Too" Drugs

    Innovation and Its Discontents

    Yesterday’s report on pharmaceutical cost and innovation got a lot of play in the media, including the ABC special last night (which I didn’t see much of.) I’m of two minds about it: there’s some truth in it, but there are important things that it misses. Companies will do everything they can think of to… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Back to Whatever It Is I Do

    Coming back to the lab after a few days off presents the same picking-up-the-threads problem as any other job. Just what was I doing, anyway? It was even worse when I was spending all my time synthesizing molecules (now, I spend some time doing that, and the rest of the time sitting in my office… Read More
  • Cancer

    A Few Words

    I see that some of my comments have spread to investors in Entremed, so let me take a few paragraphs to mention some points. I should write these up in a combination FAQ / disclaimer to deal with these situations. First off, as it says on the top of the page, I don’t speak for… Read More
  • Cancer

    Did He Say What They Thought He Said?

    I’ve received some mail pointing out that James Watson denied the “cure cancer in two years” quote which appeared in the 1998 Times article. I was aware of those denials, but (since you have to make a judgment call on these things,) I believe that he probably did say it. Why? First of all, because… Read More
  • Cancer

    Now Is the Peptide of Our Discontent

    Mickey Kaus, in his link to yesterday’s post, mentioned that the company I work for seems down on peptides as drugs, and asked his readers to keep that in mind when they read my opinion on endostatin. All I can say is, it isn’t just me (or my company.) You won’t find much of anyone… Read More