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Open-source approaches for the repurposing of existing or failed candidate drugs: learning from and applying the lessons across diseases

Authors Allarakhia M

Received 5 April 2013

Accepted for publication 6 June 2013

Published 8 August 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 753—766

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S46289

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Minna Allarakhia

Department of Management Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Abstract: Repurposing has the objective of targeting existing drugs and failed, abandoned, or yet-to-be-pursued clinical candidates to new disease areas. The open-source model permits for the sharing of data, resources, compounds, clinical molecules, small libraries, and screening platforms to cost-effectively advance old drugs and/or candidates into clinical re-development. Clearly, at the core of drug-repurposing activities is collaboration, in many cases progressing beyond the open sharing of resources, technology, and intellectual property, to the sharing of facilities and joint program development to foster drug-repurposing human-capacity development. A variety of initiatives under way for drug repurposing, including those targeting rare and neglected diseases, are discussed in this review and provide insight into the stakeholders engaged in drug-repurposing discovery, the models of collaboration used, the intellectual property-management policies crafted, and human capacity developed. In the case of neglected tropical diseases, it is suggested that the development of human capital be a central aspect of drug-repurposing programs. Open-source models can support human-capital development through collaborative data generation, open compound access, open and collaborative screening, preclinical and possibly clinical studies. Given the urgency of drug development for neglected tropical diseases, the review suggests elements from current repurposing programs be extended to the neglected tropical diseases arena.

Keywords: repurposing, open source, rare diseases, neglected tropical diseases, models of collaboration, human-capacity development

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