Blog Profile / In the Pipeline

Filed Under:Medical / Pharmaceutical
Posts on Regator:2152
Posts / Week:9.4
Archived Since:November 3, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Taking Your Doses For You

MIT's Bob Langer has another idea: he's looking to change the way that entire courses of treatment are dosed. What if an extended-release formulation, for an oral drug, was really extended release. Days, weeks? Instead of taking pills...Show More Summary

Weirdly Polar

This is a neat little structure, and it's truly a pain to synthesize (12 steps from myo-inositol). But it now seems to hold the record as the most polar aliphatic compound ever measured, and well it might. David O'Hagan of St. Andrews...Show More Summary

Tone It Down

You know, I'm not sure I should have cut Atomwise so much slack the other day. I just came across this piece on them, and...well, I'll let it speak for itself: “Here I am just sitting in this house and I’m able to predict a cure to measles,”...Show More Summary

Metformin for Aging in General?

Here's an interesting report in the Wall Street Journal on plans to run a large clinical trial with metformin. That compound has a lot of effects, and many of them seem as if they could be beneficial in an aging population. Dr. Barzilai...Show More Summary

Transcelerate Status Report

Here's a followup to something I wrote in 2012. That was when a joint venture called Trancelerate was announced to address precompetitive drug development issues, clinical trial design, and so on. Someone asked me the other day what had come out of this, and I had to admit that I was stumped. Show More Summary

Advice for Academic Entrepreneurs

Since I've mentioned a recent book on academic drug discovery, I also wanted to highlight this article at Nature Biotechnology on university tech transfer offices (TTOs). The authors, mostly from a list of high-profile research universities...Show More Summary

A Couple of Ycombinator's Startups

Last year I mentioned reports that the startup incubator Ycombinator was thinking of getting into the biopharma field. Here's a look at the current crop of potential companies. One thing that stands out is that most of these seem to be focused on patient care or some sort of diagnostic. Show More Summary

The Best Way to Halt a Clinical Trial

These are words that you really like to hear: "stopped for efficacy". That's Merck's situation with their anti-PD-1 antibody Keytruda (pembrolizumab), which was in a clinical trial in advanced melanoma patients versus Yervoy (ipilimumab), which targets CTLA-4. Show More Summary

Alkaline Lemons. Not a Misprint.

Here, folks, is someone to explain to you that "lemon water is very alkaline" (a direct quote), and that cayenne pepper has been "proven to boost your metabolism", and that "an acidic body promotes disease" and...oh the hell with it, I can't keep reading that crap. Show More Summary

Five Tons of TiCl4

I would definitely not want to be downwind of the release of five tons of titanium tetrachloride. This happened near Montreal over the weekend, and things seem to have turned out a lot better than one might have imagined (only two people...Show More Summary

Nice Patent You Have There. . .

This does not seem to me like a great advance in intellectual property law: this Bloomberg article says that some large investors are using the patent challenge process for their own purposes: Taking advantage of new rules created by Congress three years ago, hedge funds have increasingly been filing challenges to pharmaceutical patents. Show More Summary

Human Gene Editing

Well, if you needed any more proof about how powerful and easy to use the CRISPR/Cas9 technique is for gene editing, take a look at today's headlines on it: A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratoriumShow More Summary

Biogen's Alzheimer's Data

If you're a rabid biotech investor, you already know all about Biogen's data this morning. If you're sane, or insane in some other, more interesting direction, then here's what's up: last December, the company released some Phase I data...Show More Summary

Drug Development for Academics

I have a book review out in Nature Chemical Biology of A Practical Guide to Drug Development in Academia. As you'll see, I liked it, finding it a very useful guide to real-world drug discovery for people who are interested in what they'd...Show More Summary

Ignoring the "No Loitering" Sign

How long does a drug molecule stay in its site of action? How long does it need to? These questions have had a higher profile in recent years, as more drug discovery teams pay attention to the idea of residence time. This is a shortShow More Summary

Optimistic Stem Cell Quotes

How does the press cover stem cell work? You probably already know the answer to that one, but here's proof: this paper examines the media coverage from 2010 to 2013, and finds that "highly optimistic" timelines for translation to the clinic are the rule. Show More Summary

Singlet Oxygen PAINS

Here's Peter Kenny on an important aspect of the concept of "PAINS" in screening (the sort of pan-assay-interference compounds that have been a big topic in the field the last few years). He notes that the original PAINS paper grew out of some campaigns using AlphaScreen technology. Show More Summary

New Vancomycins That Do the Job

I've complained in the past (and I'm not the only one) about total synthesis work that doesn't (or maybe can't) deliver relevant analogs of the final product. That's been one of the traditional rationales for the work, but it's not always followed up on. Show More Summary

What Industry Would Like to Hear About

Here's a good paper from Phil Baran and co-workers in Accounts of Chemical Research on the relationship between industrial and academic research. It's illustrated with examples from his own work, such as the ingenol synthesis, and with...Show More Summary

Is Irisin Real?

In 2012, the Spiegelman lab at Harvard reported a new peptide hormone, irisin (derived from a known precursor, FNDC5), that seemed to be involved in (among other things) brown-fat-like energy usage and the beneficial effects of exercise. Show More Summary

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