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Friday, July 23, 2010


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Shawn Yu

I read the book "The billion dollar molecule" couple years ago. It's about one of the first pharmaceutical company, Vertex Pharm, trying to use computer-aided drug design strategy in the early 90s. In the end, their approach failed miserably. However, a drug candidate from traditional screening, or aka "suck it and see" approach, ended up saving the company.

It's just amazing that 20 years later, the story really hasn't changed much.

Gordon Webster

Indeed Shawn - "The Billion Dollar Molecule" is a very interesting account of a pharmaceutical company's efforts to move towards designing drugs rather than discovering them and it perfectly highlights the problems mentioned in the article. Screening has enjoyed some success (like that described in the book), but taking a more long term view, the industry's heavy reliance upon such approaches does not seem to be paying off.

Jason Lyle

Nice overview of a major problem Gordon. As our industry evolves I hope one day we will not just be able to predict pharmacokinetics and metabolism but maybe even start to predict the likelyhood of serious adverse events. If the powers that be in major pharma are open to change then the future of drug development will be very exciting.

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