Monday, May 18, 2009

It's a's a's PharmExec 50, but what's that molecule?

The May 2009 issue of Pharmaceutical Executive (PE) Magazine is here. It's cover features a 3-D image of a super hero ("50 Man") holding a complex molecule as he flies above a metropolis -- possibly Pfizer headquarters in Manhattan.

"The whole point of 3-D is to get things to jump off the page," says Patrick Clinton in his editorial piece. "And that's a challenge we all face these days. In today's media-saturated world, it has never been easier to get information in front of an audience. When you recall this month's 50 Man, as we hope you will, remember this: He can't save the world if he just sits on the page. He's got to fly."

50 Man also cannot save the world unless he develops new and effective drugs!

And that brings me to the image of the molecule that 50 Man is holding. I suppose it represents the new drugs that the pharmaceutical industry is inventing to save the world, which Sanofi-Aventis believes is an "unhealthy place" according to its new "video news website."

I have a problem figuring out just what kind of molecule 50 Man is holding. It looks like some kind of polymer. But it's not DNA or RNA, which are polynucleotides. It's also not a polypeptide, the basic structure of proteins. Most biologics and biotech drugs are proteins or polypeptides. So 50 Man is not saving the world with that type of drug.

It's also not a polysaccharide.

That just about covers all the main classes of biopolymers. Which leaves some kind of large, non-biopolymer -- not likely to be much use as a drug, unless it's just a proto-molecule that 50 Man is bringing into space so it can interact with cosmic rays and be transformed into a wonder drug!

Anyway, cool graphic and a nice cover.

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