There is a great paper in Drug Discovery Today: Therapeutic Strategies reviewing experience in a large number of drug repurposing experiments performed at one institute - the University of New Mexico. There is a lot of interest in the potential of drug repurposing, many papers discussing various theoretical approaches, discussion of IP, etc, but relatively few present real-world, worked examples. The well-known examples tend to be the successful ones, and have now become almost cliches - Sildenafil and Thalidomide for example. Discussion of the challenges encountered is far less common, and this paper covers a portfolio of projects, identified by a mix of empirical broad screening, virtual screening, or hypothesis-led research - a summary of each of them w.r.t. their status and progress is then outlined - finally some conclusions are presented - the most valuable and sobering ones being the limiting factors.
A further feature of the paper is the sheer complexity (and cost) of this sort of work if tackled seriously with a genuine translational science approach, as opposed to a list of hits from an in vitro/virtual screen, that are proposed for testing.
For those of you dying to know the 'punchlines' on the current challenges (as one might expect, data availability is a major component behind all of these), these are:
- Dosing and safety
- Lack of integration with pharmaceutical sciences and toxicology
- Appropriate intellectual property coverage
%T Drug repurposing from an academic perspective %J Drug Discovery Today: Therapeutic Strategies %A T.I. Oprea %A J.E. Bauman %A C.G. Bologa %A T. Buranda %A A. Chigaev %A B.S. Edwards %A J.W. Jarvik %A H.D. Gresham %A M.K. Haynes %A B. Hjelle %A R. Hromas %A L. Hudson %A D.A. Mackenzie %A C.Y. Muller %A J.C. Reed %A P.C. Simons %A Y. Smagley %A J. Strouse %A Z. Surviladze %A T. Thompson %A O. Ursu %A A. Waller %A A. Wandinger-Ness %A S.S. Winter %A Y. Wu %A S.M. Young %A R.S. Larson %A C. Willman %A L.A. Sklar %O doi:10.1016/j.ddstr.2011.10.002