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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: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

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March 27, 2013

A Therapy Named After You?

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Posted by Derek

Back last fall I wrote about Prof. Magnus Essand and his oncoloytic virus research. He's gotten a good amount of press coverage, and has been trying all sorts of approaches to get further work funded. But here's one that I hadn't thought of: Essand and his co-workers are willing to name the therapy after anyone who can pony up the money to get it into a 20-patient human trial.

The more I think about that, the less problem I have with it. This looks at first like a pure angel investor move, and if people want to take a crack at something like this with their own cash, let them do the due diligence and make the call. Actually, Essand believes that his current virus is unpatentable (due to prior publication), so this is less of an a angel investment and more sheer philanthropy. But I have no objections at all to that, either.

Update: here's more on the story.

Comments (12) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Cancer | Clinical Trials | Drug Development


COMMENTS

1. Anon on March 27, 2013 11:43 AM writes...

If you can donate to a university to get a building named after you why not? I do think that more philanthropists should take the approach to "investing" in biotech start-ups with the intention that it is a philanthropic gift. However if they generate a return they can put that into another company. I guess I'm describing a non-profit venture capital firm with minimal staff/overhead.

Permalink to Comment

2. Henning Makholm on March 27, 2013 12:33 PM writes...

Oh, if only I had the money ... I could wake up every morning for the rest of my life not knowing if the front page of the paper would read Makholm Therapy Suspected of Causing Birth Defects. The thrill! The suspense!

Permalink to Comment

3. db on March 27, 2013 2:00 PM writes...

Maybe for an extra fee you could have the therapy named after someone else.

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4. RM on March 27, 2013 2:29 PM writes...

Private individuals only, or is this open to corporate sponsors?

* The Swiffer Brand Cleaning Cloths Therapy.

* The Phillip Morris Oncoloysis.

* Red Bull Presents: Cancer Treatment X-Treame (w Acai and Guarana).

Permalink to Comment

5. Anonymous on March 27, 2013 7:29 PM writes...

Along the same lines, I've been thinking.... How about selling advertising space on the coating of a pill?
You could come up with some interesting combinations,,,,
McDolnald's on lorcaserin
Marlboro on chantix....

Permalink to Comment

6. gippgig on March 28, 2013 3:46 AM writes...

Note that advertising on a pill would clearly constitute "labeling".

Permalink to Comment

7. uvdiv on March 28, 2013 4:55 AM writes...

There's a startup trying to make this a regular thing, like a Kickstarter for NIH grants:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/25/microryza-yc/

Permalink to Comment

8. sepisp on March 28, 2013 5:09 AM writes...

In astronomy there is Lick Observatory and Yerkes Observatory, both named after the financiers.

Permalink to Comment

9. Jose on March 28, 2013 6:32 AM writes...

Apparently the town of Hendra, Australia has been lobbying for years to get the name of the (often fatal) Hendra virus renamed, as it tanked the entire town's real estate market.... be careful of what you wish for!

Permalink to Comment

10. NJBiologist on March 28, 2013 11:38 AM writes...

@9 Jose: That's a running battle with every new bug--the microbiologists want it named for where it was found (for example, the valley of the Ebola river) and the locals want no part of it (for example, the stink put up by the residents of the Four Corners area when Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome was characterized there).

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11. Anonymous BMS Researcher on March 29, 2013 6:29 AM writes...

@NJBiologist: Infectious disease researchers use the acronym VISA for Vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (bacteria that are neither fully resistant nor fully sensitive to the antibiotic vancomycin). I know a scientist who actually got a letter from the Visa credit card company's lawyers.

Permalink to Comment

12. Managed care on September 24, 2013 11:47 AM writes...

I agree with you Derek. I'm all for this, as well. Crowdsourced funding has been huge in helping independent artists and creatives get their projects released, so why not use it in our all-important science and medical fields? I seriously hope this trend continues, and quickly at that.

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