Repurposing existing drugs

The main cause of development failure for a potential new drug is lack of safety. Lack of efficacy is the second cause. LondonPharma is mitigating these inherent risks through the use of existing drugs which already possess a known safety and efficacy profile and a strong clinical and patient need.

Repurposing existing drugs enables use in a new disease area or enhanced use (with increased speed of action, increased bioavailability and/or increased patient compliance) and offers product life cycle opportunities for both branded and generic drugs.

Repurposed existing drugs can yield new patent estate, patent extensions to existing drugs or an increased market size.

Repurposing existing drugs has some of the following advantages: 

  • expands the use of medication currently used in the primary care or hospital settings only, to use in other settings.
  • expands the use into demographics not formally permitted such as the elderly and children.
  • expands use by enabling use in new or different diseases and indications.
  • exploits other therapeutic uses for the same drug on its known spectrum of activity.
  • maximises the benefit to any particular markets and patients.

According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America 2013 Profile, bringing a single new drug to market costs $1.2 billion. According to the US FDA, it takes on average 12 years for an experimental drug to progress from bench to market. The North American and European pharmaceutical industries invest more than $20 billion per year to identify and develop new drugs. Of 5,000 compounds that enter preclinical trials, only five on average are tested in human clinical trials and only one of those five receives approval for therapeutic use.

Source: Accelerating drug discovery Kraljevic, Stambrook and Pavelic, EMBO reports

Updated: 13/7/14

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