NIH Drug-Repurposing Program Expands | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 25 | p. 28 | Concentrates
Issue Date: June 18, 2012

NIH Drug-Repurposing Program Expands

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules, NIH, NCATS, drug repurposing

Five additional drug companies—Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutical R&D, and Sanofi—are now participating in NIH’s $20 million pilot program aimed at discovering new uses for abandoned drugs. The companies join Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly & Co. The number of compounds now available for researchers to test has more than doubled, going from 24 to 58 since the program was introduced in early May. The Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules program is the first major initiative undertaken by NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Under the program, researchers whose grant applications are accepted will receive information from pharmaceutical firms about drugs that cleared key steps in the development process, including safety testing in humans, but were ineffective for their original indication. NIH provides funding for researchers to explore repurposing these drugs. “If researchers funded through this effort can demonstrate new uses for the compounds,” NCATS Acting Deputy Director Kathy L. Hudson explains, “they could significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to get a treatment to patients in need.”

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ISSN 0009-2347
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