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The Rants

Curing Pharma: (1) Avoiding Hype-based Science

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Jacques Tati’s masterful 1967 work Play Time, which describes an antiseptic, colorless and angular world of the future, a bleak world that only relents when the characters get together for a drink. It’s always been one of my favorite films, and it occurred to me recently that it can be seen as a metaphor for today’s big pharma.

CD and MD

When the recent Nobel Prize for Chemistry was announced, going to Karplus, Levitt and Warshel I assumed it must have been for “Services to Molecular Dynamics”. As such, I joined the debate on Derek Lowe’s “In The Pipeline” on whether the field had earned such recognition:

On the Passing of Andrew Grant

Of the many reasons to restart my blog I expected least the death of a friend. As many of you know, Andrew Grant of AstraZeneca and long-time OpenEye collaborator, passed away on the 29th of December. His death was a total surprise to all who knew Andy: he was fit, ate well and was seldom sick.

What Is Really Killing Pharma

Sometimes it’s frustrating being in the business of servicing an industry so manifestly important and so manifestly stupid. I started OpenEye to help those I had come to know in pharma do a better job, enjoy their work more, and further the science of drug discovery. And I think we’ve done okay: shape has become a routine way of finding new or better molecules; 3D is no longer seen as difficult.

The Bayh-Dole Act

In my last post, I ranted on about the problems surrounding contributions by academics to molecular modeling, and cited as a particular issue the Bayh-Dole Act (BD), which enabled and encouraged academic institutions to patent the intellectual property arising from government funded research.

The Rant Goes On…

In August, I gave a talk at the Boston ACS meeting about the contribution of academics to molecular modeling. Okay, their lack of contribution to molecular modeling. I might even have had a slide that read, “If all academic research into modeling disappeared tomorrow, it would make no difference… to the drug discovery industry. Discuss.”

Ant's Rant - The First of Many

There’s been a lot of hot air blowing around lately about Bill Gates’s decision to invest $10M in our friends at Schrodinger. Some have even suggested that this might mean a return to the heady days of the ’80s when the belief that computation was about to make drug design “rational” was in the air.

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