News FocusScience and Commerce

Chemists for Hire: Have Flask, Will Travel

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Science  17 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5533, pp. 1249-1251
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5533.1249

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Two decades into the molecular biology revolution, potential drug targets are piling up faster than companies can adequately test them, for lack of those skilled in the art of organic synthesis. Enter the chemist-entrepreneurs. A growing group of skilled synthetic chemists is seizing the opportunity to build chemistry-for-hire companies that custom-synthesize organic molecules. It's a strategy that many in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry admit is often cheaper and faster than doing it themselves.