Hermann A. M. Mucke
Eva Mucke H.M. Pharma Consultancy e.U.

Landscaping Transitions in Therapeutic Space

Drug repurposing—using active pharmaceutical ingredients for therapeutic purposes more or less radically different from those that had originally been envisioned—is increasingly adopted as a supplementary strategy to traditional drug discovery. It can provide new options for disease treatment while making optimal use of existing assets, often in a scenario that involves partial de-risking and considerable acceleration of development. However, there is a remarkable lack of published studies that describe what might be called the landscape of drug repurposing; there are no comprehensive investigations of who repurposes what for which new use.

Looking only at compounds that have successfully completed the entire process, this seems understandable because the number of re-launched drugs or re-developed candidate compounds is still limited. But before this process even starts, academic articles and patents provide advance information that defines the scene in which the actual efforts at drug repurposing are played out. International patent applications are particularly useful in this respect for several reasons. First, they reflect not what is of academic interest, but rather what the assignees believe has commercialization potential. Second, while many developers may decide not to publish academic articles, everybody who perceives such commercialization potential will need a patent, and therefore will file an application as soon as supporting data are available to make it defendable. Third, all patent applications will be published after a relatively uniform period of 18 months from the filing date, without any filters applied. (Examination reports that identify what the patent examiner considers prior art are appended when the application is published, but they do not modify the original text). Almost all applications for which the assignees seek quasi-global patent protection will become Patent Convention Treaty (PCT) disclosures.

To obtain an in-depth perspective of what developers from academia, research organizations, and pharmaceutical companies perceive as opportunities for drug repurposing, we have identified and analyzed patent applications with respective content that were published under the international PCT during the past few years.

To see more on these themes and to read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Drug Repurposing, Rescue, and Repositioning, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., is a new peer-reviewed journal, presents techniques and tools for finding new uses for approved drugs – particularly for disorders where no animal model, physiologic abnormality, biochemical pathway, or molecular target has been identified. The above article was first published in the March 2015 issue of Drug Repurposing, Rescue, and Repositioning with the title “Sources and Targets for Drug Repurposing: Landscaping Transitions in Therapeutic Space”. The views expressed here are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of Drug Repurposing, Rescue, and Repositioning, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, or their affiliates. No endorsement of any entity or technology is implied.

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