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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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March 29, 2013

Sirtuins Live On at GSK

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Posted by Derek

Well, GSK is shutting down the Sirtris operation in Cambridge, but sirtuins apparently live on. I'm told that the company is advertising for chemists and biologists to come to Pennsylvania to staff the effort, and in this market, they'll have plenty of takers. We'll have the sirtuin drug development saga with us for a while yet. And I'm glad, actually, and no, not just because it gives me something to write about. I'd like to know what sirtuins actually are capable of doing in humans, and I'd like to see a drug or two come out of this. What the odds of that are, though, I couldn't say. . .

Comments (18) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Drug Development


1. watcher on March 29, 2013 7:26 AM writes...

Is this the offers to the folks at Sirtris in Cambridge to move to Philly? Or does it say that some of the positions on Philly were not able to be filled by offers to those in Cambridge who did not decide to move? Or, are these totally different, new positions open to the outside community to "fill in" or "remake" and remodel the Sirtris research scientists?

Someone who reads this blogs should be able to shed light on this.

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2. watcher on March 29, 2013 7:27 AM writes...

Is this the offers to the folks at Sirtris in Cambridge to move to Philly? Or does it say that some of the positions on Philly were not able to be filled by offers to those in Cambridge who did not decide to move? Or, are these totally different, new positions open to the outside community to "fill in" or "remake" and remodel the Sirtris research scientists (attempt at face saving by management, trying to shine up a rusty toy).

Someone who reads this blogs should be able to shed light on this.

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3. alig on March 29, 2013 7:30 AM writes...

It is likely because they are shutting other DPUs in Philly and want to move the displaced into those new positions.

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4. marcello on March 29, 2013 10:26 AM writes...

In the spirit of naming new therapies after people shelling out money...
Whatever the newly discovered class of sirtuin-follw-ups is going to be - they should call them Imbecillins...
I checked - name is not taken.

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5. anon2 on March 29, 2013 11:07 AM writes...

3, alig,
What DPUs have been announced to be shut? They have been talking about MOVING staff and closing sites, but not shutting DPUs, at least not yet.

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6. Anonymous on March 29, 2013 12:26 PM writes...

Best of luck to the successful candidates cos the latest papers suggest it is going tough.
How do you work out SAR for compounds whose activity will be substrate specific, pharmacology for which substrates you want to increase the acetylation of and couple all of that with all the other parameters you need to get right.

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7. Anchor on March 29, 2013 1:03 PM writes...

I not very hopeful about this thing. People will be called to come to Pennsylvania for the research and after certain point they will be fired. Don't we all had seen this picture before?

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8. annonie on March 29, 2013 1:55 PM writes...

Should never have bought, and should have shut down.
Should not move, and should shut down.
At some point, will quietly (if possible) be shut down.

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9. Anonymous on March 29, 2013 4:45 PM writes...

#8, let's not miss an opportunity:

Ought never have bought
Should not move but be shut down
Will close without a sound

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10. annonie on March 29, 2013 9:01 PM writes...

#9: OMG, one who drank the cool aid. Hope you are not my boss, or his boss.....

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11. cancer_man on March 30, 2013 8:01 AM writes...

I put this comment on a blog onto David Stipp's Scientific American blog about Sinclair's latest paper. If true, 2013 looks like an interesting resveratrol year:

“This year several human clinical trials will be published on the effects of transmax resveratrol, the form used in most NIH and other Health Ministry trials. They will elucidate the compounds chemo-protective properties with respect to cancer, diabetes, ageing, fitness, cognition, and cardio-vascular diseases. As a scientist involved in some of these studies I can only say, be prepared for some astonishing results.” -- StanfordLongevity

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12. watcher on March 30, 2013 8:25 AM writes...

11: More snake oil from one of the ultimate in snake oil salesmen. How long will the scientific community put up with such wild comments that are not supportable through truthful knowledge of human biology and physiology?

But, what the heck, if you make enough claims for a bunch of non-selective target compounds, some might be shown to do something of value....validating his statement. Shoot enough buckshot in the woods at night where there deer known to be, and you might acually hit one. Does that make you an expert hunter?

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13. anon on March 30, 2013 8:32 AM writes...

#9: I would not invest my personal savings in this venture. and if I had, would not dump more down the rabbit hole. How 'bout you?

Oh, shit, forgot. Own stock, so already dumped a crapload down the toilet, at the expense of dozens if not hundreds of jobs in GSK. And now I really want to continue flushing. Feels oh, ao good.

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14. Dr. Demented on March 30, 2013 9:26 AM writes...

@9: Nice, but if you were going for a haiku, then you were slightly off on your last line.

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15. Basho on April 1, 2013 11:46 AM writes...

@13: replace "without a sound" with "soundlessly"?

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16. Diver Dude on April 1, 2013 11:52 PM writes...

@15 replace "Should not move but be shut down" with "Should not move but fall silent" to give an oblique reference to a season?

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17. Steve on April 2, 2013 7:11 PM writes...

I worked 18 years at BW/GW/GSK, another 4 at P&G Pharma and now another 6 doing process chemistry and engineering at P&G consumer products. I still miss the intellectual challange and the idea of serving human health needs. But I don't miss the near constant fear of losing my job regardless of how well I performed. When health care became a 'right' the free market model for drug discovery was doomed to failure.

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18. Basho on April 3, 2013 3:35 AM writes...

@16: Basho approves

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