Drug repurposing: far beyond new targets for old drugs.
Repurposing drugs requires finding novel therapeutic indications compared to the ones for which they were already approved. This is an increasingly utilized strategy for finding novel medicines, one that capitalizes on previous investments while derisking clinical activities. This approach is of interest primarily because we continue to face significant gaps in the drug-target interactions matrix and to accumulate safety and efficacy data during clinical studies. Collecting and making publicly available as much data as possible on the target profile of drugs offer opportunities for drug repurposing, but may limit the commercial applications by patent applications. Certain clinical applications may be more feasible for repurposing than others because of marked differences in side effect tolerance. Other factors that ought to be considered when assessing drug repurposing opportunities include relevance to the disease in question and the intellectual property landscape. These activities go far beyond the identification of new targets for old drugs.
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