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: Twitter: Dereklowe

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January 31, 2013

In Case You Were Wondering What We Thought About the Liver

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Posted by Derek

Courtesy of the vital site that is TOC ROFL, I wanted to highlight this graphic from this paper in MedChemComm. I always pictured the liver as sort of a sawmill or shredding machine for our drug candidates, with the hepatic portal vein being the conveyer belt hooked up on the front end. But I have to admit, this is a pretty vivid representation.

Update: See Arr Oh has a few issues - rightly so - with the molecule being munched on. . .

Comments (19) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Pharmacokinetics


1. john on January 31, 2013 12:31 PM writes...

Other than the pentavalent carbon this looks like the P-1,P-2 left-hand side of the PI Inhibtor Nelfinavir.

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2. john on January 31, 2013 12:33 PM writes...

Other than the pentavalent carbon this looks like the P-1,P-2 left-hand side of the PI Inhibtor Nelfinavir.

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3. See Arr Oh on January 31, 2013 12:51 PM writes...

Chemjobber, Organometallica, and I took issue with this exact graphic a few days back:

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4. Chemjobber on January 31, 2013 12:59 PM writes...

See Arr Oh covered this; click on my handle to see his artistic critique.

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5. Anonymous on January 31, 2013 2:00 PM writes...

Caution: There are some recent images on the TOC ROFL web site that could be labelled NSFW. Found that out by accident when I was showing the site to students this morning.

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6. Derek Lowe on January 31, 2013 2:23 PM writes...

#5 Anon - so there are! Of course, I'd say that the authors of the papers involved (or the editors who let these through) are the ones to blame. There's a famous graphical abstract of a host-guest complex (from, I think, the Rebek group) that I can't seem to find at the moment, but was a landmark in "How did they publish that?" moments.

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7. Bender on January 31, 2013 2:45 PM writes...

While I'm always surprised at just how inept reviewers seem at letting some of these images through, I still would never have believed that "An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit" would ever be approved. This certainly doesn't do anything to help the movement towards open access journals (and PLOS nonetheless!)

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8. David Formerly Known as a Chemist on January 31, 2013 2:50 PM writes...

Perhaps the molecule is shown coming out the backside of the liver...hepatic enzymes can create some funky metabolites you know! Pentavalent carbons, pentavalent nitrogens, disembodies sulfur atoms...why not!

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9. luysii on January 31, 2013 2:55 PM writes...

Well many of the liver monster's teeth are P450 cytochromes, which happily chew up nearly all the xenobiotics (trans. drugs) you guys throw at it.

Chemists have now taught the old P450 dog a very new trick. They've made it the catalyst for sterospecific cyclopropanation of various styrene derivatives.

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10. Da Vinci on January 31, 2013 3:15 PM writes...

Any authors and editors involved in such nonsense should be forever excluded from any publications. I mean, seriously? Is this science or a children's book? Ridiculous.

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11. Crimso on January 31, 2013 3:42 PM writes...


"help the movement"

I see what you did there.

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12. Crimso on January 31, 2013 3:48 PM writes...

I have standing advice for all of my biochemistry students. When confronted with a question that begins "In what organ..." and you are reduced to purely guessing, always guess liver.

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13. MoMo on January 31, 2013 4:36 PM writes...

What do you expect from Pfizer Europe? Not only is it from Pfizer, it is from Europe!

They must sit around all day and draw anthropomorphosized pics of organs instead of real work, but who could blame them?

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14. Blabla on January 31, 2013 5:04 PM writes...

Oh great. Some pointless Europe bashing. Upstart colonials can't handle not being the source of civilisation?

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15. Mahatma Gandhi on January 31, 2013 5:20 PM writes...

Western civilization would be...a good idea.

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16. Anonymous on January 31, 2013 7:36 PM writes...

A totally useless review article. This topic has been reviewed countless of times.

@13: It's Pfizer USA (Groton and Cambridge), not Europe.

I bet this paper was rejected in US-based journal, though.

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17. @MoMo & Blabla on January 31, 2013 7:41 PM writes...

According to their respective contact information, the authors are from Pfizer sites in Rotten, CT and the People's Republic of Cambridge, MA. Perhaps we shouldn't expect too much from Pfizer and its new troupe of "designer chemists".

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18. Anonymous on February 1, 2013 2:05 AM writes...

Ummmmmmmm, isn't the co-editor in chief of the journal in question also Worldwide Head of Med Chem at Pfizer?

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19. MoMo on February 4, 2013 12:04 PM writes...

Ye Gods! Is there no end to Pfizer's self-destruction? Pentavalent carbons!

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