2018 Drug Approvals

Of the record 59 FDA drug approvals from 2018, the majority were small molecules (64%). Keep at it, chemists! 🙂 Oncology and infectious diseases were the areas with most small molecule approvals, followed by genetic/rare diseases. Some more statistics below. …

That Jimmy Carter Drug

Checkpoint inhibitors like pembrolizumab (Keytruda) have revolutionized treatment for many late-stage cancer patients, including Jimmy Carter. Recently, Keytruda stunned the world again with efficacy in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, the leading cancer killer. Here’s a summary of its recent …

A Trick to Fluorinate Grignards

Knochel’s group has shown that you can fluorinate Grignard reagents without decomposition via single-electron transfer reactivity (SET) by a simple solvent switch from THF to DCM. A common way to prepare aryl fluorides is through lithium-halogen exchange, followed by trapping …

The Post-Gleevec Era

Gleevec (imatinib) was the first tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of cancer and one of the first products to emerge from “rational drug design.”  It’s invention changed chronic myeloid leukemia from an incurable death sentence to a manageable …