The Sanofi research center in Southern Arizona is among the best at searching for those needles (the potentially useful molecules that may have medical application) in the vast haystacks of scientific discovery.
In the July 24 edition of the Arizona Daily Star, assistant business editor David Wichner wrote about the exciting possibilities at the Sanofi research center in Oro Valley — a lab with significant ties to the University of Arizona, as well as the Cancer Center.
UACC founding director Sydney Salmon, former UACC member Kit Lam, and current UACC members Victor Hruby and Evan Hersh formed Selectide Corp. in 1990, which, according to Wichner, "was sold to Marion Merrill Dow in 1995 for $53 million, and through a series of sales and mergers became part of Sanofi in 2004." Sanofi is an enormous French-based multinational pharmaceutical company with more than a dozen potential drug launches set for the next few years.
These vast numbers of molecules are beginning to yield tangible results, as the Oro Valley center has "produced more than 40 new candidate drug compounds" with "two in active clinical trials."
It's still very early in the process, as many drugs can take years before ever reaching the public. But with the work currently taking place in Southern Arizona, we might be on the verge of some truly exciting discoveries.
• Tucson tech: Drugmaker sifts small molecules to find potential new medicines (Arizona Daily Star, July 24, 2012)