Exploring And Developing Drugs To Full Potential
Drug repurposing describes the general concept of branching the development of a known active pharmaceutical ingredient to serve a therapeutic purpose that is significantly different from the originally intended one. Repurposing is possible at any stage of the compound’s life cycle, and regardless of the success or misfortune it has encountered so far. The compound can be a drug candidate that has been discontinued, or is in advanced stages of development; or a marketed drug for which the originator holds some active patents; or an old generic drug.
Repurposing can mean re-development for a new medical condition based the molecular mechanism for which the compound had been created (“on-target repurposing”). It can also exploit a mechanism that had so far been unknown, or was ignored (“off-target”). Repurposing can be attempted by the originator, or by a third party. Frequently, repurposing will involve doses and/or routes of administration that differ from those employed in the original application. The therapeutic target can be moved to a closely related area, or could be changed entirely. Dosing and routes of administration can (and will) be changed from the original ones to fully realize the API’s potential in the new therapy area, and to provide product differentiation.
Many strategies are being pursued to identify drug repurposing opportunities:
- In silico modelling and target docking attempts algorithmical solutions beyond medicinal chemistry.
- Datamining of side effects and drug interactions can provide valuable clues if the API is used in a marketed drug
- Crucial information can be extracted from the peer reviewed and patent literature by creative pharmacologists who can think out of the box, and “connect the dots”.
H.M. Pharma Consultancy, with its corporate partners, can leverage all these approaches.
We are currently building the Discontinued Drug and Candidate Database (DDCD) to establish a comprehensive machine-readble information basis on this subset of compounds that might be suitable for drug repurposing.