NIH turns to crowdsourcing to repurpose drugs

Experimental drugs proven safe but perhaps not sufficiently effective in initial testing or against a first disease target may sit gathering dust on the shelves of pharmaceutical companies. An NIH-sponsored effort based on a crowdsourcing strategy to establish collaborations between industrial and academic partners to test and develop these therapeutic compounds was met with an overwhelming response and has led to clinical testing of a broad range of pilot projects and a newly announced round of funding opportunities. These findings are described in a Review article in the preview issue of the new journal Drug Repurposing, Rescue, and Repositioning.

Christine M. Colvis, PhD and Christopher P. Austin, MD, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, explain that the Center does not focus on a particular disease or organ system, allowing it to support a broad scope of projects that link indications with unmet medical needs to the mechanisms of action of new drug compounds that are ready to move into patient testing. In the article "The NIH-Industry New Therapeutic Uses Pilot Program: Demonstrating the Power of Crowdsourcing") the authors state that among the new funding opportunity announcements released by the Center in May were 12 therapeutic agents for pediatric indication consideration.

"This article describes not only how targeted can link up the assets, the know-how, and the creativity that drug repurposing needs, but also how such a program can be organized to serve the best interests of all concerned parties," says journal Editor Hermann Mucke, PhD, H.M. Pharma Consultancy, Vienna, Austria. "Pharmaceutical companies and academia must collaborate to leverage their huge potential synergies in compound re-development, and by arranging and mentoring this pilot program NCATS has firmly established its role as a mediator in repurposing."

More information: Drug Repurposing, Rescue, and Repositioning DOI: 10.1089/drrr.2014.0006

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Organ transplant rejection may not be permanent

date 7 hours ago

Rejection of transplanted organs in hosts that were previously tolerant may not be permanent, report scientists from the University of Chicago. Using a mouse model of cardiac transplantation, they found that immune tolerance ...

Researchers find key mechanism that causes neuropathic pain

date 9 hours ago

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have identified a key mechanism in neuropathic pain. The discovery could eventually benefit millions of patients with chronic pain from trauma, diabetes, shingles, multiple ...

Deep sea light shines on drug delivery potential

date 9 hours ago

A naturally occurring bioluminescent protein found in deep sea shrimp—which helps the crustacean spit a glowing cloud at predators—has been touted as a game-changer in terms of monitoring the way drugs ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.