The cutting edge of chemistry

The Q4 issue of the Cutting Edge of Chemistry (PDF) newsletter which I produce for ThomsonReuters is now online. In this latest issue:

Organic synthesis scheme showcase – The nutlins were first identified by scientists screening a chemical library at Hoffmann-La Roche. In this article, we showcase a new synthetic route to (-)-nutlin 3 recently developed by Tyler Davis and Jeffrey Johnston of Vanderbilt University, that paves the way into the enantioselective arena of nutlin synthesis.

Scaffolds on the move – A wide range of new skeletons emphasize that novel chemical scaffolds with biological activity underpin major advances in medicinal chemistry.

New molecular modes of action – New molecular mechanisms of action are disclosed for a variety of indications.

The starting line – This issue includes drugs related to diabetes, cancer and other conditions such as Graves’ disease and multiple sclerosis.

Downsizing pharma and upgrading collaborations – In this report, we look at how the downsizing pharmaceutical industry is generating new opportunities for the smaller biotechnology and discovery companies. Collaborations between large pharma companies and these smaller enterprises, and even university departments and their spin-off companies, can help cut the overall risk exposure as well as lower investment costs significantly through a focus on developing only those drugs emerging from small laboratories that already show a great deal of clinical promise.

If you enjoyed the newsletter, you might also like my report commemorating the 2011 International Year of Chemistry, entitled “The Changing Role of Chemistry in Drug Discovery“, also available as a free PDF download. The report explores the current state of the pharma and reports the views of several key pharmaceutical industry players, examining how life in drug discovery has changed and how it will continue to change and adapt in the future.