What can we do to serve drug repurposing better?

Thanks to all who have attended the 6th annual Drug Repositioning, Repurposing and Rescue Conference in Chicago on June 28 & 29. We had two excellent days of presentations, formal discussions, and informal meetings on the sidelines. Also, the well-established close collaboration with Cures Within Reach has been fruitful once more.

The potential of this annual event, organized by Arrowhead, is not nearly exhausted. The few dozen participants who are meeting here are a fantastically focused and extremely motivated group, but they represent only a minuscule fraction of the drug repurposing community. Where are the others?

A similar phenomenon can be observed with the drug repurposing special issues of ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies, the peer review journal that serves as an “incubator” for the comprehensive stand-alone drug repurposing journal that we had originally envisioned. Although the number of PubMed-listed drug repurposing papers has been growing exponentially for years, the submissions that we receive suffice only for two ASSAY special issues per year.

And finally, while the LinkedIn discussion group Drug repurposing – reprofiling – repositioning has grown to over 760 members since its inception in December 2010, only a handful of people are actually active there. Despite all efforts, people seem to discuss elsewhere.

Drug repurposing is massively gaining traction, but apparently what we are doing to serve the community could be more attractive on several levels. Hence the question: what can we do better – with the conference, the journal, the LinkedIn group? Lets discuss this with complete openness, and without any taboos.