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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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September 25, 2012

Pharmville: Good Grief, This Looks Awful

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Posted by Derek

A reader sent along a link to this, which appears to be a completely serious effort by Boehringer Ingelheim to make a Facebook game about drug discovery. My guess is that whatever it might teach anyone about drug R&D will be outweighed by what it'll teach them (incorrectly) about the amount of effort needed to do it. No remotely realistic game could ever have enough payoffs to keep people interested. We can only handle that sort of thing in real life; one expects more from one's entertainment.

Comments (10) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


1. Anon on September 25, 2012 8:08 AM writes...

Sadly it's looking at developing a vaccine, not a small molecule. Which is a shame, I was looking forward to things like 'Screen compound collection, find drug' taking 30 secs or so and mis-informing the general public further.

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2. okemist on September 25, 2012 8:53 AM writes...

Not surprising BI would be interested in sitting around thinking about making a drug.

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3. anon2 on September 25, 2012 8:54 AM writes...

Come on, it's just a facebook game.

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4. svi on September 25, 2012 8:59 AM writes...

I doubt you's like something realistic either, my cop friends in Baltimore swore that the Wire is the worst show ever because the realism made them depressed.

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5. yi on September 25, 2012 9:02 AM writes...

looks you have different opinion BI China was very proud of that game LOL

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6. Morten G on September 25, 2012 10:33 AM writes...

So far Syrum is pretty cute but the character creation screen is blatantly racist.

And of course you shouldn't drink your intermediates but I think most people will learn that before being let loose in a lab.

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7. barry on September 25, 2012 11:37 AM writes...

crap like this is just ammo for those who argue that the cost of a new drug is inflated by Big Pharma efforts to stoke the corporate image rather than to discover drugs.

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8. josh on September 25, 2012 12:12 PM writes...

Mission statement first?

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9. Yancey Ward on September 26, 2012 12:17 AM writes...

As a former BI chemist, I suppose I could make a snarky comment about this, but I don't think I could better the effort of comment #2 even if I had a month to do it.

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10. The Iron Chemist on September 26, 2012 8:01 AM writes...

Interesting name. I wonder how many confused grandparents will get this for their grandkids instead of Skyrim.

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