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  • Chemical News

    Generating Crazy Structures

    I feel like a dose of good ol’ organic chemistry this morning, and a (virtual) meeting I attended yesterday gave me a paper to talk about that delivers some. I was speaking with a local group of modelers and computational chemists (BAGIM), and MIT’s Connor Coley was there presenting some of his group’s work. I… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Interferon and the Coronavirus

    Here’s a potentially important paper that’s out in Science and is getting a lot of attention. The wide variation in severity of coronavirus infection has been noted throughout the pandemic, and we already know about a few of the risk factors: age, of course, but also being male, and having pre-existing conditions such as obesity… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Trouble at the FDA and CDC

    That title is the only way that I can describe the events of the last few days. Like so many other things this year, what we’re seeing now at the top of the drug regulatory structure is unprecedented, and not in a good way at all. Let’s recap. A few days ago, HHS Secretary Alex… Read More
  • Chemical News

    New Drugs and New Structures

    Here’s an interesting paper that’s just appeared in ACS Med. Chem. Letters. The authors (Todd Wills and Alan Lipkus, both working at Chemical Abstracts) have gone back over drug approvals with an eye to the chemical structures involved (and working at CA certainly gives a person a leg up on doing that!) They’re addressing the… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    The Vaccine Protocols

    We now have the official clinical trial designs for the three biggest and most advanced coronavirus vaccine trials: Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca. Now, as for you, J&J, Novavax, Merck, and all the others that are pushing into efficacy trials as fast as possible – don’t think for a moment that you won’t be exp… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Monoclonal Antibody Data

    We have a bit of human clinical data from the Eli Lilly/Abcellera collaboration to make a monoclonal antibody therapy against the coronavirus. A full paper is coming soon, the press release says, but for now it looks like this is all we have to go on. It’s a mixed assortment of news. On the cheerful… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Phosphine, Life, and Venus

    Well, as a chemist – one who does amateur astronomy on the side, yet – it’s obligatory that I write about the phosphine on Venus paper that came out yesterday. This one’s embargo was spectacularly leaky, so everyone who’s really into this stuff had various kinds of advance warning, but the news certainly has made… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Vaccine Transparency

    I’ve been emphasizing for some time that our efforts to find and deploy a coronavirus vaccine have to be as transparent as possible to increase the chances for success. Recent events make that more clear than ever – and not in a good way. Update: Moderna has now published their complete clinical trial protocol, and… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Drug Repurposing: How Often Does It Work?

    Here’s an article that will not be popular among some constituencies. It’s in a special issue of the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, devoted to how these disciplines have responded to the coronavirus pandemic. And in it, Aled Edwards of the Structural Genomics Consortium surveys past attempts at drug repurposing and arrive… Read More
  • Covid-19

    The Russian Vaccine Data

    An open letter has appeared about the recently published data from the vaccine development effort at Russia’s Gamaleya reseach center. This is of course the one that the government announced had been “approved” before even going through any Phase III trials, an even that I characterized at the time as a “ridiculous publicity… Read More