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 nutraceuticals 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...

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.

Click here to read the full article

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.

Click here to read more....

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.

Hear the full episode here.

Med City News

Meghana Keshavan

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.

 Read the full article here!

MedCity News

March 23, 2016

By Chris Seper

MedCity INVEST – April 12-13 in Chicago

At MedCity INVEST, active investors connect with corporate business development executives to facilitate investment opportunities with over 40 of the most promising healthcare start-ups that span the biotech, medical device, digital health, diagnostics, pharma, and regenerative medicine sectors.

Over 300 healthcare experts, industry leaders, active investors and entrepreneurs will be in attendance at this premier healthcare investing event April 12-13 in Chicago to discuss the latest trends in investing, the business of medicine, the best opportunities and more.

INVEST will feature three leading healthcare leaders who will describe new approaches to healthcare, what’s working, what’s not and their vision of the future. They are:

Bruce Bloom, President and Chief Science Officer, Cures Within Reach (@CuresWReach)

Beg, Borrow and Steal: Repurposing Non-Healthcare Financial Instruments to Drive New Treatments to Patients
Bloom will describe how financial instruments used in other business sectors can be repurposed in healthcare: to deliver more treatments, reduce and manage direct healthcare costs, positively impact patients and payers, and provide opportunity for investors and industry.

Dr. Bruce Bloom is President and CSO of Cures Within Reach, a charity saving lives by repurposing approved drugs and devices to deliver a dozen fast, safe and affordable treatments for diseases that had no effective therapy. He founded CureAccelerator™, the global online repurposing research collaboration platform driving more treatments to more patients more quickly.

Register today and save.

Read Full Article Here.

Global Genes RARECast with Daniel Levine

January 27, 2016

The high cost and long time it takes to develop drugs has people looking for alternative strategies for finding new treatments. One such approach is repurposing—finding new uses for already approved drugs. This is particularly compelling for rare diseases where small patient populations can serve as a disincentive to drug developers and the need for therapeutics is largely unmet. We spoke to Bruce Bloom, president and chief science officer of Cures Within Reach, which launched the crowdsourcing platform CureAccelerator to fund repurposing research for rare diseases. Bloom discussed the benefits of repurposing, how the CureAccelerator will work, and why he believes the initiative could help to build a new approach to repurposing research and developing treatments for rare disease. Listen to the full episode here!

Assay and Drug Development Technologies, Volume 13 Issue 10

December 21, 2015

Bruce E. Bloom

Repurposing research improves patient lives by taking drugs approved for one disease and clinically testing them to create a treatment for a different disease. Repurposing drugs that are generic, inexpensive, and widely available and that can be taken in their current dosage and formulation in the new indication provide a quick, affordable, and effective way to create

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All funds donated to Cures Within Reach may be tax deductible for federal income tax purposes.  CWR is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, tax ID 20-3620169.


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