Drug repurposing from an academic perspective

Tudor I. Oprea, Julie E. Bauman, Cristian G. Bologa, Tione Buranda, Alexandre Chigaev, Bruce S. Edwards, Jonathan W. Jarvik, Hattie D. Gresham, Mark K. Haynes, Brian Hjelle, Robert Hromas, Laurie Hudson, Debra A. MacKenzie, Carolyn Y. Muller, John C. Reed, Peter C. Simons, Yelena Smagley, Juan Strouse, Zurab Surviladze, Todd ThompsonOleg Ursu, Anna Waller, Angela Wandinger-Ness, Stuart S. Winter, Yang Wu, Susan M. Young, Richard S. Larson, Cheryl Willman, Larry A. Sklar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Academia and small business research units are poised to play an increasing role in drug discovery, with drug repurposing as one of the major areas of activity. Here wesummarize project status for several drugs or classes of drugs: raltegravir, cyclobenzaprine, benzbromarone, mometasone furoate, astemizole, R-naproxen, ketorolac, tolfenamic acid, phenothiazines, methylergonovine maleate and beta-adrenergic receptor drugs, respectively. On the basis of this multi-year, multi-project experience we discuss strengths and weaknesses of academic-based drug repurposing research. Translational, target and disease foci are strategic advantages fostered by close proximity and frequent interactions between basic and clinical scientists, which often result in discovering new modes of action for approved drugs. By contrast, lack of integration with pharmaceutical sciences and toxicology, lack of appropriate intellectual coverage and issues related to dosing and safety may lead to significant drawbacks. The development of a more streamlined regulatory process worldwide, and the development of precompetitive knowledge transfer systems such as a global healthcare database focused on regulatory and scientific information for drugs worldwide, are among the ideas proposed to improve the process of academic drug discovery and repurposing, and to overcomethe 'valley of death' by bridging basic to clinical sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalDrug Discovery Today: Therapeutic Strategies
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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