Blog Profile / In the Pipeline

Filed Under:Medical / Pharmaceutical
Posts on Regator:2121
Posts / Week:8.7
Archived Since:November 3, 2010

Blog Post Archive

The End Result of Faked Results

Oh, man. Here's another example of an old, sad story - just a little fakery at the beginning, and here's what it leads to: Government prosecutors said (Dong-Pyou) Han's misconduct dates to 2008 when he worked at Case Western ReserveShow More Summary

Alzheimer's Disposes of Another Idea

In case you were wondering, you can add "MAO-B inhibition" to the long, long list of Things That Don't Do Any Good For Alzheimer's. I'm not sure how much hope anyone had for that program (at either Roche or Evotec), but the potential payoff is so huge that a lot of marginal ideas get tried. At least this was in Phase II, and not Phase III; there's always that...

Chris Viehbacher's Two Billion Dollars

Chris Viehbacher, ex-Sanofi, has reappeared at a $2 billion dollar biotech fund. Viehbacher is clear, though, that Gurnet will be founding companies as well as looking outside the red-hot fields like oncology. To find value these days, you have to look outside of the trendiest fields, he says. Show More Summary

Lipids, Proteins, and Chapman's Homer

Longtime readers might recall that every so often I hit on the topic of the "dark matter" of drug target space. We have a lot of agents that hit G-protein coupled receptor proteins, and plenty that inhibit enzymes. Those, though, are...Show More Summary

Two Alzheimer's Updates (Lilly and TauRx)

When you look at the stock charts of the major pharma companies, there's not a lot of excitement to be had. Until you get to Eli Lilly, that is. Over the last year, the S&P 500 is up about 5%, and most of the big drug stocks are actually negative (Merck -0.4%, Sanofi down 6%, J&J down 7%, AstraZeneca down 13%). Show More Summary

Another STEM Jobs Myth-Breaking Article

A reader sent along this link to an article at the New York Review of Books on the relentless emphasis on STEM jobs. The viewpoint of its author, Andrew Hacker, was preordained: he's a political scientist who started a controversy about...Show More Summary

External R&D

Bruce Booth has a long post on external R&D in biopharma. He's mostly talking about some of the newer ways to do that, rather than traditional deals and outsourcing. These include larger companies partnering with VC firms to launch smaller ones, large investments in the smaller players with specific rights to buy some of the successes, etc. Show More Summary

A Look at Phenotypic Screening

Here's a good overview of phenotypic screening from a group at Pfizer in Science Translational Medicine. It emphasizes, as it should, that this is very much a "measure twice, cut once" field - a bad phenotypic screen is the worst of both worlds: The karyotype of a cell represents one of its most fundamental and defining characteristics. Show More Summary

A Brain Apparently Made of Grain

I truly enjoyed this look at Dr. Robert Perlmutter of "Grain Brain" fame, another branch of the same intellectual family tree as Drs. Mercola and Oz. Wonderful cures! Suppressed by evil forces! Under our noses all along! Exactly the opposite of the wonderful cures claimed by the same guy in the 1990s...uh, what? Fun stuff. But it won't convince the true believers; nothing will.


I've heard from sources this morning that the folks at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Wallingford have received, out of the blue, one of those sudden sitewide meeting announcements that often portend big news. I'll leave the comments section of this post for updates from anyone with more info - I'll be out of communication for a while this morning at the ChemDraw event.

The Tramadol Wars

You may recall the report of the synthetic analgesic tramadol as a natural product from Cameroon, and the subsequent report that it was nothing of the kind. (That's the paper that brought the surprising news that local farmers were feeding the drug to their cows). Show More Summary

ChemDraw's Anniversary

If you have a chance to stop by, Thursday the 25th is the "30th Anniversary of ChemDraw" event in Cambridge (MA). Here's the link - I'm going to reminisce a bit in the morning's program about the pre- and early post-ChemDraw days (as I have here on occasion). If you'd told me about this event back in 1985, I don't think I would have believed you.

The End of Compound Property Optimization Is At Hand

Here's another Big Retrospective Review of drug pipeline attrition. This sort of effort goes back to the now-famous Rule-of-Five work, and readers will recall the Pfizer roundup of a few years back, followed by an AstraZeneca one (which didn't always recapitulate the Pfizer pfindings, either). Show More Summary

Not 25%, But Still Not Good

Here's a disturbing read for you: the author of this paper (Morten Oksvold, of Oslo University) sat down and did what none of us ever do. He chose three different journals in the oncology field, picked one hundred and twenty papers,Show More Summary

A Retraction, Ten Years Later

Here's an odd thing, noted by a reader of this site. Organic Letters has a retraction of a paper in the Baldwin group at Oxford, "Biomimetic Synthesis of Himbacine". This Letter has been retracted, as it was found that (a) spectra of...Show More Summary

Voodoo Nominations

I'd like to open up the floor for nominations for the Blackest Art in All of Chemistry. And my candidate is a strong, strong contender: crystallization. When you go into a protein crystallography lab and see stack after stack after stack...Show More Summary

The Drug Abacus

How much should drugs cost? That question can be answered in a lot of different ways, and at many levels of economic literacy. But the Wall Street Journal is reporting on a new comparison tool from a group at Sloan-Kettering, the "Drug...Show More Summary

Aging As a Disease

I've mentioned numerous times around here that therapies directed against aging in general have a rough regulatory outlook. The FDA, in general, has not considered aging a disease by itself, but rather the baseline against which disease (increasingly) appears. Show More Summary

Tiny (And Not So Tiny) Changes

A huge amount of medicinal chemistry - and a huge amount of medicine - depends on small molecules binding to protein targets. Despite decades of study, though, with all the technology we can bring to bear on the topic, we still don't have as clear a picture of the process as we'd like. Show More Summary

Organ Models on Chips

Why do we test new drug candidates on animals? The simple answer is that there's nothing else like an animal. There are clearly chemical and biological features of living systems that we don't yet understand, or even realize exist - the discovery of things like siRNAs is enough proof of that. Show More Summary

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