re Rx: Dedicated to exploring, informing and reflecting on the world of repurposing research
Dr. Bruce Bloom, October 23, 2012
What's in a name? Shakespeare wrote something about a rose by any other name smelling just as sweet. Does that mean the name of something is unimportant, that it's just the thing itself that matters?
Maybe, though a name can change perception. Chilean sea bass, a favorite seafood dish in high end restaurants, used to be thrown back into the sea when it was known by its previous name, the Patagonian Toothfish. No human would want to eat THAT, even though the Patagonian Toothfish is wonderfully flavored and meaty. That name doesn't describe the thing in a way that attracts people to it.
Renaming a cause may be just the thing to magnetize it, helping it to make a greater impact on and in society.
This is the feeling in our organization as we change our name from Partnership for Cures to Cures Within Reach. The name Cures Within Reach tells our story in three words. Almost anyone who hears our new name can begin to know what we do and why it is critical for us to do it if we want to heal the sick and extend their lives in a meaningful way.
Although Cures Within Reach is a spectacular name, it has risen naturally out of our work towards our existing mission and vision. We started with a mission to accelerate the search for cures. On the journey we discovered that one amazing way to do that was to repurpose what was already available instead of starting from beginning of therapy development. Repurposing is starting from the end of therapy development.
We actually started doing repurposing by accident. A single repurposing discovery project arrived along with 200 new discovery ideas in one of our grant cycles. We almost missed it. But we funded it, and 30 months later, kids with fatal disease ALPS had an effective repurposed therapy that not only saved their lives, it created almost a "normal" life for these kids, and it saved about $100,000 per year per child in health care costs.
Even though we helped create this miracle for these kids, we still didn't "get it.". It wasn't until the group that founded FD Now joined forces with us to fund and create repurposed therapies for the once fatal disease familial dysautomonia that we realized repurposing was the fastest, safest and most affordable way for us to accelerate the search for cures.
Since that time we've had many more successes with repurposed compounds, devices and treatments and our name change from Partnership for Cures to Cures Within Reach seems inevitable. Our mission has been focused on Cures Within Reach; our researchers and clinicians have created projects that were Cures Within Reach; our funding partners have seen and supported the value in the speed and life changing impact of Cures Within Reach.
And, we like it, too. So welcome to Cures Within Reach, leading the Repurposing Revolution that is improving the length and quality of life for those we love who suffer from catastrophic disease, by taking the drugs, devices and therapies already developed for one disease, and repurposing them for different diseases.
Our mission by any other name would smell as sweet, but why not give it a perfect name: Cures Within Reach.