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  • Business and Markets

    Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene

    So our big biopharma news this morning is Bristol-Myers Squibb buying Celgene, for $74 billion. I don’t think anyone saw this particular combination coming, so congratulations to those involved for running a tight ship. It looks at first glance like Celgene shareholders are getting a pretty good deal out of the offer, and I would… Read More
  • Current Events

    Back For More, 2019 Edition

    So, here we are. Today is the day that many people are heading back into offices and labs, feeling as if it’s been a month since they left, or perhaps like it’s been about two days. I can’t decide between those two myself. I’m not going to pull a Neil DeGrasse Tyson on everyone and… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Nostalgie de la Boue

    Alfred Bader’s passing reminds me that there’s an earlier generation – now almost completely gone – that regarded the likes of Aldrich Chemical as fancy upstarts. There has (had?) always been a tradition in organic chemistry of making reagents fresh for your own use, either because there were no commercial suppliers (which i… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Alfred Bader, 1924-2018

    You didn’t hear much about Alfred Bader in recent years – he was elderly, retired, and moreover, his company (Aldrich, later Sigma-Aldrich) had in recent years dropped the Aldrich name from its public branding and now operates as MilliporeSigma. But if you’re at all connected with organic chemistry in the second half of the 20th… Read More
  • Current Events

    Sen. Warren’s Generic Drug Idea

    Here’s a proposal from Sen. Elizabeth Warren to have the government manufacture generic drugs directly. (I was traveling yesterday and wasn’t able to blog this then). It’s clear that there are some problems with parts of the generic drug system that we have, so my first thoughts were (1) whether Warren saw the same problems… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Making Excuses, the Modern Way

    This one will be good for a wry smile, a roll of the eyes, or perhaps a knowing shiver. The British Medical Journal has published a “Key opinion leaders’ guide to spinning a disappointing clinical trial result”, and many are the times that such a handbook is needed, unfortunately: When key opinion leaders are asked… Read More
  • Biological News

    We Have Given People Amyloid Disease

    Unfortunately, it’s time to talk transmissible protein pathology again. That’s the unnerving idea that misfolded proteins can, under some conditions, act as infectious agents (prions are the most famous examples and the most widely-used name for these). I wrote in 2015 about a particularly alarming possibility. It’s known that up… Read More
  • Drug Prices

    Blame the FDA for This Fiasco

    Back in 2013 and again in 2016, I wrote about Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, a South Florida company whose business plan I found repellant. That’s because said plan involved running an old generic compound (3,4-diaminopyridine) through the FDA modern approval process, which under the agency’s rules would grant them market exclusivity. I have… Read More
  • Biological News

    Right Side, Left Side

    I wrote here about chirality, on several levels, finishing up with some speculations on how we know our left hands from our right and why. As mentioned in that post, that’s one of those questions that can sound stupid and/or trivial until you start to think about it, and as the comments section proved, things… Read More
  • Architecture and Productivity: Four Theses

    I certainly enjoyed this review of a new book, Laboratory Lifestyles, in Nature. This is a look at research buildings and the behavior of scientists in them, and will for many reopen a lot of arguments. Open offices? Open-plan lab space? Where do the break areas go, and the conference rooms? What do they look… Read More