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  • The Dark Side

    A Very Public Retraction. Good.

    Word came out yesterday from Frances Arnold of Caltech (via her Twitter account) that she and her co-authors are retracting this paper from Science. The retraction notice itself has the details: After publication of the Report “Site-selective enzymatic C‒H amidation for synthesis of diverse lactams” (1), efforts to reproduce the work showed t… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    If You Want to Degrade, You Have to Get In the Door

    Back for more, and welcome to 2020! Frankly, that sounds like a year out of a science fiction story, but I will admit that it’s not the first year about which I’ve had that thought, either. Let’s get right into the drug discovery with a new paper from a team at UNC in the very fashionable… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Let’s Get To It

    Another year! And another decade, for that matter. Before Neil DeGrasse Tyson swoops down and tells us all that these are arbitrary calendrical units, I’ll stipulate that they are, and that they’re still worthwhile opportunities to take stock. So how’s drug research going? Honestly, pretty well. We still have a lot of terrible uns… Read More
  • Diabetes and Obesity

    Proteins as Oral Drugs: Possible, But Not Probable

    I have been writing this blog for some time (!) That occurs to me on seeing this article in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery on oral dosing of peptide drugs – I say that because of this 2002 post on the very same subject, at the time directed towards the then-still-somewhat-hot topic of Judah Folkman’s endostatin angiogenesis… Read More
  • Blog Housekeeping


    Holiday-season travel is cutting into valuable blogging time around here! I’ll see everyone on Wednesday, but of course after this week things are going to go slow-to-irregular for the rest of the year, anyway. . . In the meantime, though, let me throw the floor open in the comments. What topics haven’t been covered around… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Merck and Its Ransomware Problems in Court

    Well, this story is not specifically about the drug industry, although anything that shuts Merck down for two weeks, costs them around a billion dollars, and disrupts the US drug supply chain certainly has some relevance to it (!) I’m talking about the 2017 NotPetya ransomware attack. Merck was one of the high-profile corporate victims… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Sticking Together in Solution

    I will cause no controversy by saying that most of the small-molecule compounds that we develop as potential drugs in this business are rather poorly soluble in water. Every organization I’ve worked in has made the standard jokes about “brick dust” and “powdered Teflon”, and for the well-founded standard reasons. A lot… Read More
  • Drug Prices

    Arguments on Drug Pricing

    I find myself slammed with a busy work schedule this week, but I have to take a moment to recommend this post by venture capitalist Bruce Booth on drug pricing. It is long, detailed, and comprehensive, and I’m very glad that he took the time to do it, because it (and Jack Scannell’s piece from… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    The Hype Problem

    This paper is right, and it says things that need to be said. I wonder, though, if saying them will do any good. Let me explain what the heck I’m talking about! The paper is titled “Blocking the Hype-Hypocrisy-Falsification-Fakery Pathway is Needed to Safeguard Science“, and I don’t see how anyone can really disagree. When… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    They Don’t Know

    Well, Biogen has released more data on its Alzheimer’s antibody, aducanumab. The people (like me) who were doubtful (or worse) that they had enough to make a case for FDA approval remain doubtful. And the people (there are some) who think that it’s approvable haven’t changed their minds, either, from what I can see. Frankly… Read More