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  • Clinical Trials

    Another Vaccine Trial Halt

    The first advice is “Don’t panic”. You will have heard that last night J&J announced that their coronavirus vaccine dosing has been paused while they investigate an adverse event in the trial. And while you never like to hear that, considering the size of their effort, this sort of thing is likely to happen even… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Hard Data on Remdesivir, and on Hydroxychloroquine

    Let’s catch up with some things that (by this point) feel a bit like old news. But it’s important to do it, because (A) the big reason they feel that way is because of the bizarre world we’ve been living in the last few months, and (B) the pace of medical discovery is not set… Read More
  • Biological News

    A Nobel for CRISPR

    The 2020 Chemistry Nobel has gone to Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier for the discovery of CRISPR. An award in this area has been expected for some time – it’s obviously worthy – so the main thing people have been waiting for is to see when it would happen and who would be on it. Read More
  • Drug Industry History

    The Sad (and Saddening) History of Makena

    Longtime readers (and longtime drug industry folks!) may remember the Makena story from 2011. That is a progesterone ester drug that has been given to women at risk of preterm labor, and it came into the news when a small company called KV Pharmaceuticals used an FDA program that encouraged modern trials of older medicines… Read More
  • Covid-19

    The President’s Coronavirus Treatment

    I’ve had emails asking me what I think about President Trump’s illness and the course of treatment that he’s under. To be honest, this wasn’t a subject that I really felt like writing about – every time I write anything about Trump here, I regret it – but the reports have been so increasingly odd… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Rotating Rings of Solvents

    Now here’s a chemistry technique I don’t think I ever would have thought of. This new paper in Nature presents what could be a new way of doing multistep chemistry in a single vessel by the use of solvent layers of different densities in a rapidly rotating container (the examples below are in vessels are… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    J&J Vaccine Data

    We have more data on the J&J/Janssen coronavirus vaccine, which those keeping score at home will remember is an adenovirus vector candidate. It uses an obscure member of that virus family (Ad26) that very few people have ever been exposed to, as opposed to the ones where significant parts of the population might have pre-existing… Read More
  • 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