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  • Covid-19

    Encouraging News About Coronavirus Immunity

    We’ve had some good news on coronavirus immunity recently – good because it gives us some more clarity on the whole situation, and because it suggests that both people who have already recovered from the infection and people who will be getting vaccinated can have good protection. We have this preprint from several of the… Read More
  • Aging and Lifespan

    Unity Biotechnology and Senescent Cell Therapy

    Let’s have a look at the case of Unity Biotechnology, because this is a story that won’t get so many headlines. Unity has been investigating a really interesting but high-risk idea. It’s in the anti-aging field, so those two adjectives sort of apply by definition, and it’s the hypothesis that one of the problems is… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    SinoPharm’s Inactivated Coronavirus Vaccine

    So now we have some clinical data on yet another category of vaccine: SinoPharm’s inactivated coronavirus candidate. This is one of the classic vaccine techniques, where an infectious virus is altered by some sort of protein-denaturing treatment (heating or reactive chemistry) to make it noninfectious. But such particles can retain enough of… Read More
  • Nanobodies Against the Coronavirus: Something New

    So let’s talk about nanobodies – there’s a coronavirus connection to this, but it’s a good topic in general for several reasons. We begin at the beginning: what the heck is a “nanobody”? Antibody Structure The name is derived, rather loosely, from “antibody”. So let’s spend a minute on what anti… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    The Russian Vaccine

    Many will have heard Russia’s announcement that they have approved a coronavirus vaccine. I’ve already had several people ask me what I think of it, so let me be clear: I think it’s a ridiculous publicity stunt. If it’s supposed to make Russia look like some sort of biotechnology powerhouse, then as far as I’m… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Stock Cults and the Coronavirus

    Let’s take a few minutes to talk about biopharma stocks in general – or to be more precise, about some of the people who invest in biopharma stocks. There’s a lot of weird behavior in this area, and the pandemic has amplified it. I refer specifically to the “stock cult” mentality that will be familiar… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Vaccine Data From Novavax

    Several days after making some headlines with a press release about the data, the Novavax vaccine effort has published on Medrxiv. The is the first look at human data we have at an approach using recombinant coronavirus proteins (plus an adjuvant, in this case a proprietary saponin natural product). The protein itself is produced in… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Regeneron’s Monoclonal Antibody Cocktail in Primates

    I’m very glad to see some data emerging on the monoclonal antibody therapies that have been in the works. Regeneron  and Eli Lilly/Abcellera are two of the front-runners in this field, which could pick up some very much needed slack while the many vaccine trials are going on. And late yesterday a preprint emerged from… Read More
  • That Kodak Deal

    Many people have been wondering what’s going on with the announcement by the Trump administration that Kodak has been contracted to produce pharmaceutical APIs here in the US. Let’s line up some of the public statements about all this first, and then take a closer look. Here’s the press release from Kodak after signing a “L… Read More
  • Pharmacokinetics

    Slipping Into the Brain

    We’ve got a lot of longstanding technical difficulties in the drug development business – things that we’d really like to be able to do, but can’t quite manage to find any general solutions to. Measuring drug concentrations inside cells (or parts of cells), that’s one. Predicting human toxicology for a new compound is… Read More