Challenges in drug development include high risk, high costs and extended timelines. Drug repurposing, which means the use of a drug with prior clinical experience for a new clinical indication, opens up a new avenue with promise to be faster, less risky and at lower costs. Discovering new uses for approved drugs is one of the quickest possible transitions from bench to bedside. At the same time, using alternative methods to identify the new use for old drugs is possible and promi¬sing. On the one hand, in silico prediction models are useful, on the other hand, knowledge about pathomechanisms can lead to new targets that can be targeted with known drugs.
We have invited Rick Thompson, CEO of Findacure, a patient centric UK charity that has built a community to drive research and develop treatments for rare disease, to share their vision of drug repurposing and how they go about it. Findacure is currently part of an EU funded Horizon2020 consortium and project in clinical trials with a repurposed drug for treatment of rare disease bone disorders (MCDS). The Heidelberg based spin-off company Sciomics also takes part in this consortium, and their Head of contract research, Ronny Schmidt, will give the second talk of the evening, telling us about the MCDS therapy project and Sciomics involvement.