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April 15, 2004
The March of Folly
Thinking about molecular modeling, as I did in the last post, brings up another topic: when you go back to the late 1980s, in the real manic phase of the technological hype, what brings you up short is realizing that these folks were planning on doing all this with 1980s hardware.
That puts things in perspective. Here we are in 2004, and we still can't just sit down and design a drug from first principles. Don't believe anyone who tells you that we can, either - if that were possible, there would be a lot more drugs out there. I'm not saying that molecular modeling never makes a contribution (I know better, and from personal experience.) It's just that it hasn't (yet) caught up to the hallucinations of fifteen or twenty years ago, which is entirely the fault of the people who were doing the hallucinating.
You can make the same comments about other waves of hype that have broken over the pharmaceutical world (combinatorial chemistry comes immediately to mind.) What I'm wondering is: what's the hype of today? There's bound to be a hot new idea that's going to solve our problems, but will end up changed beyond recognition after twenty years of the real world. Any votes on what's going to look faintly ridiculous to us in 2024? As you'd guess, I have some candidates of my own. . .
| Category: Drug Industry History | In Silico
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