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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Embracing a New Lease of Life

EBR:What are the advantages of drug repurposing in comparison to developing a new drug?

Alex Kiselyov: There are notable advantages of drug repurposing which include the understanding of molecular target, pathway, or network pharmacology, as well as a chance to identify agents that ‘make sense’ from the point of view of signalling mechanisms involved in the disease pathology. It can also provide an insight into molecular biophysics, lead-like properties as exemplified by solubility, lipophilicity, plasma protein binding, and metabolic stability.

There is opportunity for a rapid analoging based on either chemotype, biological profile (fingerprint), or both. If desired, potential to establish new intellectual property (IP) is possible via medicinal chemistry or a structurebased drug discovery route using known or suspected molecular targets for the molecule. For pharmaceutical companies with a large compound collection (library), there is a chance to select target-based or structurebased ‘similars’ with clear IP. Furthermore, another advantage is a frequently detailed understanding of in vivo and clinical (human) safety, dosing regimens, pharmacokinetics (PK), and pharmacodynamics (PD), including specific target engagement in a tissue of relevance.

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Alex Kiselyov, at Genea Biocells, has over 20 years of industry experience in drug discovery and development. He has contributed to multiple clinical programmes encompassing oncology, cardiovascular disease, dementias and cognitive disorders, and spinal muscular atrophy. His latest endeavour included identification of the targeted treatment for facioscapulohumeral dystrophy that received orphan drug designation in May 2018. Alex has contributed to over 170 papers and seven book chapters and has 50 awarded patents and patent applications.
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