Drug repurposing or repositioning( both are same)
As the word suggests, the intention is to find an alternative use for a compound. In recent years, there has been an amplification of drug repositioning in the area of neglected diseases. Drug repositioning has a new perspective that allows us to shake those shelved compounds that have been de-risked during their development stages. This approach has a significant impact on saving the cost of development, offer therapy for unmet medical needs and also offer generous margins for pharmaceutical stakeholders.
As an example Thalidomide, a glutamic acid derivative was first approved in the early 1950s as a drug of choice among women for treating morning sickness. However, over 12000 children exhibited birth defects that were associated with Thalidomide related embryopathy. Thalidomide was withdrawn from the market in 1961.
Thalidomide possesses immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antiangiogenic properties. In 1998 FDA approved Thalidomide for the treatment of Leprosy and subsequently, in 2006, Thalidomide was approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma as a combination drug with dexamethasone. From a safety standpoint, thalidomide is not mutagenic, genotoxic, or carcinogenic.
Various terms in Drug repurposing or repositioning
Finding new uses outside the scope of the original medical indication for existing drugs or developing new indications for existing drugs or biologics
Identifying, developing, and commercializing new uses for existing or abandoned drugs
Reducing the risks and costs associated with drug development with the advantage that the drug has already undergone preclinical and clinical testing
Investigating new uses for currently prescribed drugs
Finding ways to modify a formulation to allow a drug to enter a new market
Opening up new possibilities for old medicines that were not appreciated at the time of original discovery and can be made therapeutically different through new formulations.
Exploiting established drugs that have already been approved for the treatment
Identifying new indications for clinical candidates that have been discontinued for their primary indications for reasons other than safety or research units that aim to find new uses for compounds that had failed in clinical trials or still in development