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  • Biological News

    There’d Better Not Be an Argon Receptor

    Signaling between cells is weirder than we used to think it was. There’s a hardy perennial, all right – that sentence could have been written whenever you like for the past fifty years or so. But the surprises keep on coming. Some of the most intense communication needs are between neurons, as you’d expect, and… Read More
  • Biological News

    All Bets Are Now Officially Off

    Remember the genomics gold rush? Back about five or six years ago? Sure you do! People were lining up to throw money at companies that could deliver human gene sequences, as part of the never-ending search for new drug targets. (OK, it’s not quite never-ending, but for the time horizon we have in the industry… Read More
  • Patents and IP

    And Now for Something Completely Different

    Here’s something new to finish off the week. As even casual observers know, patents are extremely important in the drug industry. We spend whacking amounts of time writing them, reading them, and worrying about the ones that other companies have filed. And it should also be clear, to the same laid-back observers, that a good… Read More
  • Drug Prices

    The Pricing Weapon

    I’ve been meaning to get around to the subject of Abbott’s HIV protease inhibitor, Norvir (ritonavir.) Actually, the subject I’ve really need to get around to is its price, which in December went up by about a factor of four. That’s a pretty steep move for something that’s been on the market for seven years… Read More
  • Autism

    Here and There

    I wanted to take a moment to mention some interesting posts around Blogdom that readers may not have seen. In a response to the news on secretin for autism (see my post below), Dwight Meredith writes on what it was like at its peak of interest: Human secretin, swine secretin, herbal secretin (which as far… Read More
  • Birth of an Idea

    If This Doesn’t Work, There’s Only Reality To Fall Back On

    Time for an update on my research, where I’m still working on the odd idea that I’ve been speaking about. In my last installment, I had what seemed to be good results from an experiment, and I was getting ready to set up some more control runs to see if things would behave as they… Read More
  • Biological News

    A New Cancer Target – Maybe

    In my industry, you hear a lot of talk about drug targets and their relative chances of success. Targets fall into several broad classes, and when you take a close look, there are clearly some that are easier to hit than others. The G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are one of those (antihistamines and beta-blockers are… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    A Request From Biology

    A fellow researcher, working over at The Competition, sent along a couple of good questions. He’s a biologist, and was reading the posts here earlier this week about compound repositories. He writes: “I would like to pose to you a question I have tried for years to get chemists to address: why has no one… Read More
  • Drug Prices

    Good Sense Wins a Round

    Regular readers will know that I often rant about pharmaceutical price controls. The issue of Canadian drug reimportation is what usually sets me off, but that’s far from the only border where pharmaceuticals can be profitably arbitraged. Take the countries of the EU, for example. There’s no central EU health plan (not yet, anyway ̵… Read More
  • Secretin

    Secretin is a signaling peptide that stimulates the pancreas. It kicks in when food is consumed, causing the pancreas to secrete its mixture of digestive enzymes. Until 1996, not many people (outside of gastrointestinal specialists and researchers) had heard of it, or devoted much thought to it. But that year, an autistic boy from New… Read More