Traditional drug discovery typically involves screening hundreds of thousands of compounds to find an active substance for development. The process of bringing a novel drug to market has a very high failure rate, a timeline of 11–18 years, and costs of approximately $1-3 billion dollars. As a result, there is a shrinking industrial infrastructure for drug discovery/development but there is still a tremendous need for new medicines, especially for neglected and rare diseases.
One important alternative to conventional drug discovery is the discovery of new uses for existing, clinically evaluated compounds that have cleared key steps in the drug development process. This approach, known as drug repurposing, has many advantages and can lead to drastically shorter time for development, and provide basic science researchers with tool compounds to investigate biological systems. Indeed, utilizing preexisting drugs for alternate indications has been shown to reduce the drug development path to 6–10 years and reduce cost to $300–500 million since the safety profile of these compounds is already largely known and many regulatory steps have already been taken.
The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) recognized the opportunity to accelerate translation through this approach and thus, in collaboration with key partners across campus, is founding the Center for Drug Repurposing (CDR).
Learn more about this new center, its early key milestones, and next steps at this Town Hall event.