Dr. Bruce Bloom
Pharmaceutical Patent Analyst
March 1, 2017
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?
February 27, 2017
Driving Insights to Action
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.”
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.
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!
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.”
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?
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.
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.
Stanford Social Innovation Review
April 8, 2016
By Bruce Bloom
Around 500 million people globally suffer from one of 7,000 diseases that lack a known,
effective treatment. But new drugs developed by the pharmaceutical industry address only 10
to 30 additional diseases each year. At this rate, it would take between 250 and 700 years to
find treatments for them all!
Fortunately, new drugs are not the only answer. We can also test the clinical benefits of drugs
already approved for human use for one disease for the treatment of other diseases. In this
way, we could quickly repurpose thousands of cheap and widely available generic drugs to
create “new” treatments for diseases that currently lack remedies.
One Health of a Life: Deborah Collyer
April 28, 2016
Guest blog post by Dr. Bruce Bloom, Amy Conn, and Dr. Clare Thibodeaux
Currently more than 500 million people worldwide suffer from diseases that lack effective treatments. As a result, global health care costs are growing and patients are suffering. Yet new drug discovery can take 10-15 years and can cost over $2 billion. This process is too long and costly for many patients who needs a solution today.
Instead, repurposing leverages prior investments by finding new uses for “old” drugs. This means repurposed treatments can reach patients in about 3 years and for less than $500,000.
Testing for repurposing sometimes means they are first tested in tissue samples or animal models in laboratories to find accurate dosing. If this pre-clinical research is done, the drug can quickly move into human trials. In some cases, it moves into human trials immediately.
Blog Talk Radio
Pharma Talk Radio
April 1, 2016
Generic drugs can be repurposed to create effective treatments in unsolved diseases. However, there is no economic incentive for industry to pay for a clinical validation and regulatory approval process for most generic drug repurposing because it will not achieve the necessary ROI.
Cures Within Reach, FindaCure, Numbers For Good and the National Health Service in England are working together to the create a new economic solution to this problem by piloting the first ever Rare Disease Generic Drug Repurposing Social Impact Bond (SIB). This SIB would be a “pay for success” initiative, in which investors fund the proof of concept repurposing clinical trials and the government provides a payment to the SIB for any repurposed therapies that both improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
The government success payment would allow the SIB to repay the investors, and have additional funds for the next group of repurposing clinical trials, creating a sustainable funding source for generic drug repurposing.
Med City News
April 13, 2016
In the wake of all the price gouging antics we’ve seen at Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Turing Pharmaceuticals, Bruce Bloom’s Cures Within Reach provides a breath of fresh, philanthropic air.
The organization’s all about generic drugs – but unlike, say, Martin Shkreli, Bloom’s big idea is to repurpose existing drugs and lessen the overall costs of healthcare. It’s reliant on the idea of a government that pays industry for measurable improvements in public health – which, in Cures Within Reach’s case, involve the treatment of rare diseases.
Bloom spoke today at INVEST, MedCity News’ healthcare investment conference in Chicago. He laid out the mission of Cures Within Reach: To re-examine research and gather information on off-label drug use, and deploy generic drugs to treat rare diseases.
The model has shown some success. For example, Bloom says the organization was able to help bring the treatment cost of the rare disease Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome, or ALPS, from $100,000 to $5,000. Researchers found that by repurposing the drug sirolimus, they were able to bring remission rates up to 85 percent – while reducing the spend by $95,000.