ABC7 Eyewitness News

June 27, 2017

 

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Honors were handed out Tuesday night for those who have made a difference in the lives of rare disease patients. The organization Cures Within Reach held its annual Global Health Repurposing Awards ceremony. ABC7 Eyewitness News' Judy Hsu served as emcee.

ABC7 Eyewitness News

By Judy Hsu

June 27, 2017

A potential medical breakthrough happening in Chicago is literally saving limbs.

An experimental treatment for patients with chronic poor circulation, often brought on by heart disease or diabetes, is part of a new push for drug repurposing -- finding new cures with existing medicine.

Like millions of Americans, Curtis Richardson suffers from poor circulation in his legs.

"That can manifest as problems like pain when you walk, pain in your feet at night, ultimately wounds that won't heal," said Dr. George Havelka, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

For Richardson, walking became nearly impossible.

"Pain was so bad had me in tears sometimes," Richardson said.

His condition, up until now, had few medical options.

"The natural history of that is needing surgery or possibly even amputation," Havelka said.

However, Havelka and Dr. Darwin Eton, of the University of Illinois Hospital, are trying a new approach - a clinical study that involves no surgery and no hospital stay.

The treatment uses an existing drug for cancer patients that mobilizes the body's own stem cells and a standard compression device. Havelka said "hopefully helps those stem cells hone in to where the disease is at and allowing the patient to build up new circulation and improve the blood flow."

The breakthrough treatment took a decade of research, with promising results.

PILMAN- A Tapan Ray Website on Healthcare

April 17, 2017

By Tapan Ray

The prices of new cancer drugs are increasingly becoming unsustainable across the world, and more so in India. A sizable number of poor and even middle-income patients, who spend their entire life’s savings for the treatment of this dreaded disease, is pushed towards extreme economic hardship. Their plight in India would continue to remain so, till Universal Health Care (UHC) comes into force, as enunciated in the National Health Policy 2017.

Thus, the delivery of affordable and equitable cancer care poses one of India’s greatest public health challenges. Public expenditure on cancer in India remains below US$ 10 per person, as compared with more than US$ 100 per person in high-income countries. The May 2014 paper, published in ‘The Lancet Oncology’, analyzed this concern in detail.

Read the full article

Laboratory Equipment

April 17, 2017

By Erin O'Neill

When scientists with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer started clinical trials in 1991 on a chemical compound named UK-92480, they aimed to show the drug’s potential therapeutic benefit for a cardiovascular condition caused by restricted blood flow to the heart muscle.
Less than two years later, hope that the compound, now better known as sildenafil, could treat angina began to fade.

But the drug wasn’t shelved. Rather, scientists began exploring whether one of the drug’s reported side effects—erections—could help men suffering from another condition.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998 approved sildenafil, under the brand name Viagra, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. In its first year on the market, sales of the little blue pill topped $1 billion.

Read the full article

Pharmaceutical Patent Analyst

March 1, 2017

Dr. Bruce Bloom

There are a number of generic drugs that might be useful in treating tuberculosis, but will they ever get to the patients who need them? They might, but not without a lot of help. There are intellectual property issues, endpoint issues, cost of research issues, economic incentive issues, preclinical validation issues, “who is in charge” issues and many more. It is clear that repurposed generic drugs have the potential to make a safe, effective, quick and affordable impact on a global disease of poverty such as tuberculosis. But without the economic incentives that are usually in place for drug development, can we muster the scientific, economic and governmental support to bring them to the patients? 

Read full article

Driving Insights to Action

February 27, 2017

Drug repurposing and reformulation leverage already expended costs for compounds that failed to reach the market for one disorder, to develop reformulated or repurposed drugs for a different condition in less time and with less cost. How will repurposing disrupt the current market? Where are the stress points in delivering repurposed products to patients?

A special DIAmond panel discussion titled Drug Repurposing: Where Will It Take Us?, chaired by President and Chief Scientific Officer of Cures Within Reach Dr. Bruce Bloom, will explore this topic at our DIA 2017 Annual Meeting. “If you can repurpose a generic drug for some unmet medical need and you’re charging the same price for that drug as any other generic in use, you’re liable to be creating a good therapy at a very reasonable cost,” Dr. Bloom explains in this exclusive podcast. “If you’re able to do that, the net health care cost benefit is almost always significantly positive.”

Click here to listen to the podcast interview

iBIO Biological

January 30, 2017

By John Conrad

PACT Member Cures Within Reach Featured on WBEZ

This morning Chicago public radio, WBEZ, featured PACT member Bruce Bloom from Cures Within Reach on their “Your Health” Segment.

The segment started off discussing the antiparasitic drug mebendazole, and the current research being conducted at John’s Hopkins on the drugs effectiveness in animal models of aggressive brain tumors, including advanced gliomas and medulloblastomas.

This research project is one of the many projects funded by Cures Within Reach, a non-profit focused on improving patient quality and length of life by leveraging the speed, safety and cost-effectiveness of medical repurposing research, driving more treatments to more patients more quickly.

Dr. Bruce Bloom, the president and chief science officer, was interviewed as part of this segment and highlighted the potential of looking at old medicines to see if they have potential new uses.

Listen to the segment here

NPR's Morning Edition

January 30, 2017

By Allison Aubrey

One of the most effective and affordable anti-parasitic medicines is being researched for potential cancer-fighting properties. It's part of a movement to re-purpose existing drugs for new uses. Listen here!

The Scientist

January 1, 2017

By Anna Azvolinsky

An entire industry has sprung up around resurrecting failed drugs and recycling existing compounds for novel indications.

In 2010, Bruce Bloom, CEO of Illinois-based Cures Within Reach, reviewed the organization’s decade-long track record of bringing new treatments to patients. He found that the nonprofit had funded 190 novel drug projects, but “couldn’t find any instance where it was directly helping patients,” says Bloom. Cures Within Reach had also funded 10 different drug repurposing projects, seeking to test existing drugs for novel indications. Of the 10 projects, four generated enough evidence to give physicians confidence to treat patients off-label, which doctors can do at their discretion, particularly when there is no approved therapy for a condition or when a patient has exhausted all available treatment options.

“We then polled 200 researchers and clinicians, and 66 percent of researchers told us they had a [repurposing] project ready for investigation, and 25 percent of clinicians had clinical observations they wanted to test in a trial,” says Bloom. “This convinced us that there is a ton [of opportunities] out there for repurposing.”

 

Read the full article here

 

One Health of a Life: Deborah Collyar

September 27, 2016

Guest blog post by Dr. Bruce Bloom & Dr. Clare Thibodeaux

Due to popular demand, former blog guests Bruce Bloom, and Clare Thibodeaux from Cures Within Reach have returned with another post. This time, they explain how they bring researchers, older drugs, and new funders together to come up with new solutions for patients. Disclosure: I am a member of their Advisory Board, and think this concept is brilliant!

Ways to repurpose existing drugs, devices and nutriceuticals can offer powerful “new” treatments for diseases that desperately need them. A recent blog post (“How to Solve Diseases with Existing Drugs”) talked about the power of repurposing research. So why doesn’t more research with available drugs get done?

 

Read full article here

DCAT Value Chain Insights

July 5, 2016

By Patricia Van Arnum

Given the high cost of new drug development, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and other organizations are looking for innovative ways to reduce time and costs. Drug repurposing and repositioning hold some answers.

Companies, such as Sanofi and Astellas Pharma, have recently announced external partnerships and increased internal focus on drug repurposing and repositioning. Drug repurposing refers to studying drugs that are already approved to treat one disease or condition to see if they are safe and effective for treating other diseases. Drug repositioning refers to taking a pharma pipeline compound already shown to be safe for human use and finding new indications that can be studied to expand a compound’s value. Industry estimates place the market for repurposed drugs at $24.4 billion in 2015 with projections that it could reach $31.3 billion in 2020. So how are pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and other organizations responding? DCAT Value Chain Insights (VCI) examines recent developments.

Click here to read full article

June 21, 2016

WGN Web Desk & Micah Mattere

 

Applied Clinical Trials

June 7, 2016

By Bruce Bloom, JD, DDS

There are over 7,000 “unsolved” diseases for which patients have no universally successful treatment. There are also thousands of generic drugs that can be repurposed to help these patients. Built on knowledge from scientific discoveries, anecdotal evidence, and/or bioinformatics, generic drug repurposing research can often lead to quick and affordable development of “new” medical solutions. Once a generic drug repurposing opportunity has been identified, a key issue is whether the clinical trial validation should focus on supporting a path to commercialization or to physician off-label use. The direction of focus depends on the entity supporting the clinical trial development.

Development entities that support generic drug repurposing clinical trials are either commercial or philanthropic. When thinking about outcomes, commercial entities (pharma, biotech, financial investors) typically focus on financial and shareholder value, while philanthropic entities (patient advocacy groups, foundations, individual philanthropists, government) primarily focus on patient impact.

Click here to read the full article...

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