Drug repurposing (DR) (also known as drug repositioning) is a process of identifying new therapeutic use(s) for old/existing/available drugs. It is an effective strategy in discovering or developing drug molecules with new pharmacological/therapeutic indications. In recent years, many pharmaceutical companies are developing new drugs with the discovery of novel biological targets by applying the drug repositioning strategy in drug discovery and development program. This strategy is highly efficient, time saving, low-cost and minimum risk of failure. It maximizes the therapeutic value of a drug and consequently increases the success rate. Thus, drug repositioning is an effective alternative approach to traditional drug discovery process. Finding new molecular entities (NME) by traditional or de novo approach of drug discovery is a lengthy, time consuming and expensive venture. Drug repositioning utilizes the combined efforts of activity-based or experimental and in silico-based or computational approaches to develop/identify the new uses of drug molecules on a rational basis. It is, therefore, believed to be an emerging strategy where existing medicines, having already been tested safe in humans, are redirected based on a valid target molecule to combat particularly, rare, difficult-to-treat diseases and neglected diseases.
Part of the book: Drug Repurposing