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Well, That Sounds Easy Enough

Over at In the Pipeline, Derek Lowe's reaction to a new McKinsey report on pharma's return on investment elicits this succinct response: "Yikes." According to the report, ROI from small-molecule drug research has dropped from 12 percent in the late '90s to about 7.5 percent this decade. "Another alarming bit of news is their analysis of Phase III failures," Lowe writes of McKinsey's finding that 45 percent of Phase III failures "were due to insufficient efficacy versus placebo - which, in theory, is the sort of thing you're supposed to be rather more sure about by that point, what with having run Phase II trials for efficacy and all." Lowe also weighs in on McKinsey's recommendations for how to improve the situtation -- cut costs, work faster, and make better decisions.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.