PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management
Volume 12, Issue 10

By Cynthia A. Challener

Oct 04, 2017

Compared to traditional drug discovery approaches, drug repurposing, repositioning, and rescue can be faster and cheaper

Although drug repurposing has been receiving growing attention in recent years, drug companies have taken this approach, at least serendipitously, for decades. Viagra, originally developed as an angina treatment, is one of the most well-known examples. Today many groups are focused on identifying new indications for existing drugs including academic researchers; nonprofits such as Cures Within Reach; and government institutions including the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences in the United States and the UK Medical Research Council. Other drug repurposing research ventures include public-private partnerships like the Center for Drug Repurposing (operated jointly by Ariel University [Israel] and Drug Rediscovery Ltd) and the Drug Repurposing Hub (a collaboration between the Broad Institute Cancer Program, the Center for the Development of Therapeutics, and the Connectivity Map group); and companies such as Biovista, GVK Bio, and NuMedii. In 2012, it was estimated that drug repurposing, repositioning, and rescue (DRPx) efforts accounted for 30% of FDA-approved new drug products (1). In addition, in 2015, Biovista President and Co-founder Aris Persidis reported that these drugs accounted for approximately 25% of pharmaceutical industry revenues (2).

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