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Repurposing drugs: the opportunity and the challenges

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To help charities and researchers devise their own strategies to repurpose drugs, we held a seminar with a number of experts in the field to discuss issues such as intellectual property, regulation, commercial positioning and patient involvement.

The seminar focused on strategies to address the opportunities and challenges of repurposing drugs for patients with diseases that are poorly treated with current therapies.

Drug repurposing represents a potentially rich source of new therapies because it involves the use of de-risked medicines that are already available to patients. The possible advantages of this approach include lower overall development costs and shorter development timelines, as well as economic and societal benefits for more sustainable healthcare systems in the long term. However, to crystallise these benefits significant challenges need to be addressed. These include overcoming regulatory hurdles, demonstrating utility and achieving the appropriate endpoint to allow best access for patients.


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