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  • 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
  • Biological News

    Bacteria and Depression: Something to Test

    Microbiome, microbiome – you haven’t been able to turn around in this business the last few years without hitting some sort of story about the microbiome. It’s easy to roll your eyes and decide that it’s all hype, but that’s the thing: it really is important. It can’t be dismissed just because we don’t unde… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Nivien’s Shot

    Have you ever heard of Nivien Therapeutics? Unless you follow the oncology world pretty closely, probably not. But they are – well, were – a startup out of Harvard that was working on a promising approach to overcoming chemotherapy resistance in pancreatic cancer. Now that’s what we call an “unmet medical need”, consid… Read More
  • Animal Testing

    A Toxicological Flag

        Here’s a caution from a new paper out of Manchester. The group had been synthesizing inhibitors of PARG (poly-ADP ribose glycohydrolase), an enzyme involved in DNA repair. The general chemotype is shown at right, but there are a number of variations. That fluorine is a new addition, though. The corresponding cyclopropylmethyl se… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Come One, Come All to These Kinases

    Why do some proteins in a family prove very hard to target, while others bind a whole list of inhibitors? This paper takes a look at a particularly dramatic example in the kinase field. That’s a good place for studying such things, since there are a lot of kinases out there, and a lot of… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Learning Some Science, At Last

    I have some blogging topics queued up (as is generally the case) but I can’t resist this one, which showed up in my Twitter feed this morning. It’s an update from Rupert Pennant-Rea in the UK – former editor of The Economist, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, and many other positions besides. Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Artemisia Comes Through Again

    Here’s an unusual twist for you. Many readers will be familiar – to their regret, most likely – with the story of T*ring Pharmaceuticals (name redacted slightly in order to not defame a great scientist whose name was tacked on to this outfit for no reason other than advertising). Their first idea was to go… Read More
  • Biological News

    Room For Improvement

    How much can we improve on Nature? Fixing defective proteins and pathways is one thing, but in those cases we’re trying to get back to what the function should be (and what it is in healthy organisms). But what about “better than healthy”? That’s a tricky area to enter, because (for one thing) billions of… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    More Than One, And Maybe More Than That

    Every so often, we medicinal chemists need reminding that those beautiful X-ray crystallography structures of our ligands bound to target proteins are. . .not quite what we tend to think they are. Here’s a post I did on that a while back, and this new paper quantifies one of the issues. You see, what you… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Sartan Contamination Story

    There’s a chemical contamination story in the generic drug industry that just isn’t going away. Late last summer, some lots of valsartan were recalled due to detection of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and the problem has just continued since then. We’ll get into the chemistry of this problem in a minute, but first off, looking at… Read More
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