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Posts tagged with "Toxicology"

  • Biological News

    Genetic Variation Gets More Real All the Time

    This study goes firmly into the file marked “You never could have done this one a few years ago, sonny”. We already know that there’s genetic variation in every population and in every individual. And we know that a large number of marketed drugs (about a third of them) target G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). But… Read More
  • Animal Testing

    Melanocortin: It’s Not Just For Lizards Any More

    If you’re looking for a good example of evolution-as-a-tinkerer, the melanocortin receptors would be a good place to start. From a single starting point, they’ve ended up as a family of related proteins that do completely different things. And the hormones that bind to them have radiated out as well: they’re all derived by process… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    When Small Trials Convince

    This is a good piece by Bruce Booth in Forbes, and it points out something that’s changing in the biopharma landscape. Readers will have noticed over the years here the occasional eye-rolling at companies that run underpowered clinical trials and go to the FDA hoping for the best. That’s not a good place to save… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Silicon Stays in the Shadows

    I like this review, but I’ve seen it before. Well, not this exact manuscript, but every few years it seems there’s another one with a similar title, something about “Incorporating Silicon Into Drug Structures”. I am guilty of the exact same thing, though: here’s a blog post from 2004 on the topic, and here’s one… Read More
  • Pharmacokinetics

    There’s Toxicity, And There’s Toxicity

    This is a neat article at Bloomberg about the production of botulinum toxin (BTX, aka Botox). This is a drug that has some rather special handling involved: A baby-aspirin-size amount of powdered toxin is enough to make the global supply of Botox for a year. That little bit is derived from a larger primary source… Read More
  • Cancer

    Watch Your Covalent Drugs Carefully

    EGFR is a growth-factor receptor protein that’s well known as a cancer target, and there are a number of drugs that target its kinase activity in order to shut it down. But as is also well known, many cancer cells are rather genomically unstable, and throw off mutations constantly. One of the most common problems… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Alnylam Breaks Through

    As a pioneer in RNAi therapeutics, Alnylam has really had some ups and downs over the years (some of them chronicled on this blog). Today would be one of the “up” moments, for sure. The company (in collaboration with Sanofi) has just announced positive Phase 3 data on their therapy for hereditary ATTR amyloidosis – Read More
  • Pharmacokinetics

    Adverse Events: A Look Under the Hood

    As most people know, there’s an FDA Adverse Event Reporting System, which is supposed to capture any sort of problems that turn up with approved drugs. Certainly if you have any kind of job in the industry, you know about it – every corporate training program includes a section about how if you hear about… Read More
  • Cardiovascular Disease

    AMPK: Time To Think Hard

    AMP-activated protein kinase, now that’s an enzyme for you. It sits at the center of a cell’s metabolic switchboard, and if you’re talking about anything to do with the response to levels of fuel like glucose or fatty acids and determination of their downstream fates, then AMPK is almost certainly crucial. Activating the enzyme se… Read More
  • Natural Products

    Sodium Benzoate Nonsense

    I don’t spend a lot of time on the blog swatting down idiotic ideas about chemicals. It’s a full time job, and (see next post) I already have a full time job. It’s also frustrating work, because the supply of idiocy is apparently beyond limit, and just when you think you’ve seen the most clueless… Read More
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