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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: Twitter: Dereklowe

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July 18, 2004

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Posted by Derek

I've spaded through the heap of e-mail at home and at work, and I'm ready to get going again. My lab is on another new project, which means that I need to clear my desk of the piles of notes and papers from the last one. Some of those will go into the permanent files, while others will go into the handy recycling box. Rather more of the latter, actually.

Here comes another class of molecules that I've never worked on before, but to judge from the torrent of hits that I get from literature searches, they've had plenty of admirers. It's the exact situation I spoke about recently: we've got to carve out some patent space and hope that it overlaps with the space of active compounds. There are whole classes of structures that we're probably not even going to bother looking at, because it's clear that we can't own a position there.

Really significant effort goes into such contortions. I can't imagine what a pharmaceutical world without chemical intellectual property would feel like, but it sure would be less complex for people like me. Mere anarchy would sure enough be loosed: just make whatever you want to, and go where the assays tell you. But I can't imagine how you'd make it pay, either, which is why we're in the world we're in.

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