Drug repurposing, also known as drug repositioning, is a strategy that seeks to reuse existing, licensed medications for new medical indications, often in diseases with very different profiles to that for which the drug was originally developed. Repurposing offers a number of significant advantages in comparison with de novo drug development. These include the availability of extensive pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and safety data, (with data on both common and rare adverse events) and an understanding of relevant molecular targets and mechanisms of action.
Additionally the repurposing of generic medications is appealing at a time when economic pressures are negatively impacting health systems globally. The potential for cheap generic medications to tackle cancer and other serious medical conditions in low and middle income countries is particularly appealing. The combination of drug repurposing and metronomic chemotherapy, often termed metronomics, is particularly appealing in this respect. However, more widespread adoption of the repurposing strategy is often hampered by a lack industry engagement and poor financial incentives. Therefore, while the advantages are clear, there are many challenges to overcome in order to show clinical efficacy, which is the most important criterion by which repurposing should be judged.
This Research Topic provides a focus on drug repurposing, particularly in a clinical context. Potential articles will focus on translational and clinical studies, case reports, trial rationales and so on. An additional focus will be on regulatory and institutional issues related to repurposing, including drug licensing, financial disincentives and other factors associated with translating trial results to clinical practice.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.
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