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

« Science Marches On | Main | Hydrogenation Made Easy? »

July 25, 2005

The Check Shows Up in the Mail. Really.

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

In the drug industry, we tend to look down a bit at academia's attempts at pharmaceutical research. We don't go out of our way to hire people with university degrees in medicinal chemistry, for example, which you'd think would be a perfect fit. (Here's why.) And we're always insinuating that the professoriat just doesn't understand what it takes to develop a drug, and what kind of timelines have to be met. I've made a number of comments like that here, and I'll surely make some more.

But I have to admit that it's not always true. There are a few drugs that have come out of academic research, although in all the cases I'm aware of, much of the expensive heavy lifting was done after signing a deal with a pharma or biotech company. (Scroll down to the September 2004 posts herefor more ranting than you may need on the "all drugs come from academic research anyway, right?" position.)

One notable success story has been the antiretroviral Emtriva (emtricitabine), a nucleoside mimic that acts as a reverse transcriptase inhibitor. It was discovered in a longstanding program to find new antiviral agents at Emory, with the chemistry coming from Prof. Dennis Liotta and his group. (Personal disclosure: I nearly went to Emory for grad school to work in Liotta's group, and was strongly considering doing a post-doc with him afterwards. And I've attended his Gulf Coast Chemistry Conference a couple of times as well.)

I mention all these connections, I guess, because word comes now that Emory has cut a deal cashing in all future royalties for a record-setting $525 million dollars. They're selling 65% of the royalty stream to Gilead, the company that markets Emtriva (the orginal deal was done with Triangle Pharmaceutical, a firm of Burroughs Wellcome refugees later bought by Gilead), and 35% to VC firm Royalty Pharma. And the deal provides that the University itself gets 60% of that, with the rest to be split between Liotta, Raymond Shinazi (on the medical side), and former Emory researcher Woo-Baeg-Choi.

That is 210 million dollars to be split between the three of them. My heartiest congratulations, from down here on the floor where I'm fanning myself. I can tell you that if I come up with a winning drug here in industry, I'll likely get promoted, and may well even see a bonus. But I will most definitely not see any seventy million dollars. Maybe this academic model for drug discovery has something to it after all. . .

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets | Infectious Diseases


COMMENTS

EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
What If?
Novartis Impresses Where Others Have Failed
Exelixis Against the Wall
A Last Summer Day Off
The Early FDA
Drug Repurposing
The Smallest Drugs
Life Is Too Short For Some Journal Feeds