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  • Clinical Trials

    GLP-1 and Obesity

    Let’s have a look at a paper that came out recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. It shows strong results in a therapeutic area that a lot of people have spent a lot of effort on: obesity. I’ve been kicking around the idea of reviewing the history of anti-obesity drug discovery, but it’s… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Antibody-Dependent Enhancement and the Coronavirus Vaccines

    I’m getting a lot of queries about antibody-dependent enhancement these days, and I can only assume that’s because there’s a lot of talk about this making the rounds of various social media platforms. Many of the people who are contacting me sound a lot more worried than I would have thought, so that prompts me… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Does Prior Exposure to Coronaviruses Protect You?

    There’s a new paper out that clears up some of our thinking about the current pandemic and what protection people might have had before the latest coronavirus showed up. As so many people know by now, there are a lot of coronaviruses running around out there, and they are responsible for a small-but-real fraction of… Read More
  • Covid-19

    How You Make an Adenovirus Vaccine

    The other day I had a look at the process used to make the mRNA vaccines, so I thought it would be a good idea to do the same for the adenovirus vector ones, such as J&J, Oxford/AstraZeneca, CanSino, Gamaleya et al. It’s a different system, with its own advantages and disadvantages, and that’s the… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Adenovirus-Vector Vaccine Roundup, Feb 5: Sputnik and More

    We’ve had yet more news in this area in the ten days or so since my last vaccine news roundup post, so here’s a look at the current situation. Most all the news has been in the viral vector area, so I’ll stick to that this time around. The big news here is the publication… Read More
  • Cancer

    T Cells (and Bifunctionals) For Everything

    Let’s take a one-day break from the coronavirus, but fear not, I will not be forsaking immunology. We’ll take a look at an interesting therapeutic idea involving T-cells and how it’s going. For some years now, Amgen has been working on a technology called “BiTE“, which stands for “bispecific T-cell engager“ Read More
  • Covid-19

    Oxford AstraZeneca Data, Again

    We have some more data to mull over with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The situation so far has been pretty confused, with various efficacy numbers appearing from different people in different venues. It’s fair to say that the rollout of the clinical data has not gone smoothly, and that it’s done the effort no favors. As… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Myths of Vaccine Manufacturing

    In the last few days, the question of why more drug companies haven’t been enlisted for vaccine production has come up. It’s mostly due to this tweet: The problem is, as far as I can see, this is simply wrong. There are not “dozens of other pharma companies” who “stand ready” to produce these mRNA… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Screening, Within and Without

    So I’m a small-molecule drug discovery person at heart, since I started out as a synthetic organic chemist. Talking about vaccines and antibodies nonstop is a bit of a strain, then, because immunology is full of stuff that’s rather far removed from good ol’ small-molecule ligands. Actually immunology eventually wears out everyone. Read More
  • Covid-19

    J&J and Novavax Data

    Suddenly we have a lot more vaccine efficacy data to discuss! Yesterday came an announcement from Novavax about trials they’ve been conducting in the UK and in South Africa with their recombinant protein vaccine, and today comes equally anticipated data from J&J (Janssen) on their adenovirus vector candidate. We’ll have a look at th… Read More