Corante

About this Author
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

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
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

« Cui Bono? | Main | I'll Have the Lot »

November 11, 2004

Alexander Would Have Understood

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

You'd think that by now most reasonably simple chemical structures would have been explored, but it's funny how many untouched areas still exist. I was looking at one the other day, which I certainly can't specify, but it surprised me that such a small "drug-like" template hadn't been worked on. I expected to see a message like "1097 substances, displaying 1-25" displayed in SciFinder - the chemists in the audience will know the kind of search results I mean.

It's things like this that keep us in business, from a patent perspective. But patentable chemical space isn't a renewable resource. There are already large areas where it's basically impossible to get coverage - try for some reasonable indoles, piperazines, or imidazoles, for example. You'll have to get fairly baroque in the side chains before you'll find any uncleared territory.

We use up big chunks of intellectual-property real estate every year. Even when a patent expires, it's prior art forever, and that goes for publications of all kinds. (A recent court case established that even rather obscure and limited poster presentations are public disclosures sufficient to make their contents unpatentable.) When will we run out of frontier? And what will we do then?

Comments (5) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Patents and IP


COMMENTS

1. The Novice Chemist on November 11, 2004 8:53 PM writes...


Hey, Derek -- what do you use for searching for reactions and substances? Do you use SciFinder or Beilstein? SciFinder seems so intuitive compared to the dread, incomprehensible Beilstein. (To this novice mind, anyway.)

Permalink to Comment

2. Derek Lowe on November 12, 2004 9:29 AM writes...

SciFinder, for the most part, although to be thorough you'd want both. SciFinder's results and Beilstein's diverge at times, and not just because of Beilstein's decision not to cover the patent literature. (Which, in the long run, is dooming them from a competitive standpoint.)

Permalink to Comment

3. jeet on November 12, 2004 5:50 PM writes...

Derek,

What case were you referring to? I hadn't realized posters are now public disclosures (wow).

jeet

Permalink to Comment

4. George on November 12, 2004 10:15 PM writes...

He's probably referring to In re Klopfenstein

Permalink to Comment

5. snarchy on November 12, 2004 10:43 PM writes...

There is an inevitability of almost all the easy drugs being patented, but as technology progresses the hard drugs become easier to find. I don't know how close we are to that point, but after they've all the interesting molecules have been patented or prior arted you'll still need the expertise to know what to do with them and how. Beyond that, there are still a couple of reasons for the existence of a chemist other than drug design.

Permalink to Comment


EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
XKCD on Protein Folding
The 2014 Chemistry Nobel: Beating the Diffraction Limit
German Pharma, Or What's Left of It
Sunesis Fails with Vosaroxin
A New Way to Estimate a Compound's Chances?
Meinwald Honored
Molecular Biology Turns Into Chemistry
Speaking at Northeastern