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  • Clinical Trials

    Quietly Another Drug Candidate Disappears

    I wanted to note something today that won’t make many headlines outside of biopharma, but it’s just the sort of story that I wish more people knew about. Let’s start with this: there’s a terrible disease called IPF, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Anyone with any medical background knows to beware the word “idiopathic&# Read More
  • Don’t Let Humans Pick the Experimental Conditions?

    When chemists have a wide range of reactants to choose from to make new compounds, how do they choose which ones to use? “Not randomly” is the answer, even when perhaps it should be. This effect has been noted in medicinal chemistry, where the choice of building blocks (not to mention reactions) for analog synthesis… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Electron Diffraction Comes Through Again

    Here’s more evidence of the power of the MicroED electron diffraction technique: this new paper reports the structure of two reactive organometallic species whose structures could not be determined by either NMR methods or conventional X-ray crystallography. One of them is the zirconium hydride species known as Schwartz’s reagent (zirco… Read More
  • Cancer

    Your Cancer Targets May Not Be Real

    I wrote here about a paper from Cold Spring Harbor labs that invalidated MELK as a cancer target. That was straightforward enough: knocking it out via CRISPR across a whole range of cancer cell lines had no effect on their growth at all, so it’s kind of hard to make the case that it’s an… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    Cite My Papers. Or Else.

    The ways to mess around with the peer-review process are legion, but these schemes are getting a bit easier to catch. That’s what I take away from this paper, from two bibliographic scientists at Elsevier who set up a system to do just that. One hears tales of reviewers who will look more favorably on… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Hindered Ethers Made Easier

    Since I mentioned a new Mitsunobu-type reaction yesterday, I should note that a new route to hindered ethers has come out this summer from the Baran group at Scripps. Here’s the ChemRxiv version, and here’s the Nature paper that just appeared. And there are more details at the group’s blog here. It’s an electrochemical react… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Meet the New Mitsunobu

    Well, people have been searching for a reaction like this one for quite a while now: that link describes a catalytic Mitsunobu-like reaction, and the original has always been a transformation that synthetic organic chemists groan about but use anyway. It’s a way of substituting an OH group in one pot with what should be… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    How Close Do You Get to the Best Compound?

    Here’s a topic that came up in my Twitter feed the other day – I fear it’s unanswerable, but I’d like to hear what people have to say about it. Drug discovery projects start, of course, from a selection of possible chemical matter and chemical series, and they eventually narrow down to a clinical candidate. Read More
  • Chemical News

    Trifluoromethyl Amides, Now Available

    Early-stage medicinal chemists are going to be all over this paper that’s just come out in Nature. That’s because it opens up a whole interesting class of molecules that we’ve never really had access to: N-trifluoromethyl amides. That phrase won’t do much for you unless you’re a synthetic organic chemist, and especiall… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Has AI Discovered a Drug Now? Guess.

    Here is an interesting paper in Nature Biotechnology on computational drug design, and if you read it without reading any of the accompanying articles about it, you will have a perfectly good time. There are things that you will be impressed by, and there are things that you will argue with, but that’s how most papers… Read More
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