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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Did He Say What They Thought He Said? | Main | Back to Whatever It Is I Do »

May 23, 2002

A Few Words

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Posted by Derek

I see that some of my comments have spread to investors in Entremed, so let me take a few paragraphs to mention some points. I should write these up in a combination FAQ / disclaimer to deal with these situations.

First off, as it says on the top of the page, I don't speak for my employer. To avoid confusion on that point, I'm not even mentioning them by name, nor will I comment about specific situations that are directly relevant to their business. There are so many things to write about that I don't have to touch on anything sensitive.

So, the fact that I'm talking about Entremed means that, well. . .they aren't directly relevant. They're just another small company with a cancer drug candidate, trying to get it through trials. As you'll notice, I've also written about others in the same category, like Imclone and Sugen. If I held off commenting on companies like these, I might as well not write about anyone.

As for the personal end of things, I own no Entremed stock, nor am I short, nor do I have any option position in them. My policy is that I'll disclose any such holdings I may have in any company I write about. Frankly, anyone who uses this site as an investment tool had better hold onto their hat. The perspective I bring is that of an experienced (and sceptical) scientist, which I believe would be a good weltanschauungfor any pharma/biotech investor to have. But I'm not revealing inside information about anyone or anything, positive or negative.

Finally, there have been some comments about cancer patients and what Entremed's compounds could or could not do for them. That's an argumentum ad misericordiamby proxy, and it's worth just as much as the regular kind. To counteract another Latin tag (De mortius nil nisi bonum,)Voltaire once said that one owes respect to the living; to the dead one owes only the truth.

I believe that that applies to the gravely ill as well. Science deals with the facts, the dirty lowdown, and that's the most valuable currency there is when you're trying to find a treatment for a dread disease. Tumor cells won't listen to analyst reports, or message board posts. They respond only to facts. Right now, it's my considered opinion that those facts say that Entremed's compounds are likely to be inferior to other treatments in development.

The other side of that cold, hard coin is that I can be proven definitively, thoroughly wrong. That's another thing we're good at in science. In this case, I wouldn't mind a bit: I would be very happy indeed if these peptides turn out to be good enough to save lives. But as I see it now, I don't think it's the best place to put your money, or your hopes.

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