More reports on: Health & Medicine

Existing drugs can be recombined to treat new diseases: study

08 July 2017

A new study has found how currently available drugs for various conditions might be repurposed alone or in combination with other drugs to treat infectious diseases.

Instead of using new treatment or medicine, the recent study has found that already available medicines may be repurposed to treat people during outbreak of bacterial, viral and related infections.

The researchers suggested that such a strategy should be pursued in part because the development of new therapeutics and vaccines usually takes a long time with immense resources. In addition, the speed of developing new therapies for drug-resistant pathogens has not kept up with the evolution of drug resistance by these pathogens.

"Historically, drug repurposing for outbreaks of bacterial, viral, and related infections has been an underutilized vehicle for discovery of novel interventions due to the limited potential for commercialization. Thus, involvement of non-profit entities in the discovery process for such unmet needs is crucial," said Dr Wei Zheng, lead author of the British Journal of Pharmacology study.

"To combat global challenges caused by drug-resistant pathogens, a new model of translational research including government, academic researchers, and private drug industry is needed."

Drug repurposing is the application of known drugs and compounds to treat new indications.

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