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Drug Repositioning ( also-known-as therapeutic switching and drug repurposing). It is an area of translational biology that identifies new or different therapeutically-useful indications for marketed drugs by targeting alternative diseases.
What is Drug repositioning : It is an exploration of drugs that have already been approved for treatment of other diseases and/or whose targets have already been discovered. Various techniques including data mining, bioinformatics, and usage of novel screening platforms have been used for identification and screening of potential repositioning candidates.
Objective: These initiatives not only add value to the portfolio of pharmaceutical companies but also provide an opportunity for academia and government laboratories to develop new and innovative uses of existing drugs for infectious and neglected diseases, especially in emerging countries like India.
Recent Method : With the accumulation of the large volumes of omics data, bioinformatics plays an increasingly important role in the discovery of new drug indications, With the drug-related data growth and open data initiatives, a set of new repositioning strategies and techniques has emerged with integrating data from various sources, like pharmacological, genetic, chemical or clinical data.
Recently, some researchers have proposed the idea of repositioning the approved drugs for the treatment of Ebola, and the debate has been surprisingly intense. Antiviral drugs or drugs with immune system’s modulation drugs were repositioned to treat Ebola, but World Health Organization has ignored these proposed FDA-approved drugs, owing to the deficiency of experimental tests, as well as the potential drug toxicity
Conclusion : computational drug repositioning research is of great significance to improve human health through discovering new uses for existing drugs. In fact, a number of studies have already been carried out with various degrees of success. It has great potentials to accelerate drug discovery with interesting opportunities in several particular disease areas (e.g. cancer)
Increased investments and development of new technologies in drug discovery have barely improved the outcome of medicinal entities in the drug discovery market from a long time. Therefore, Drug repositioning can provide an alternative approach to meet the demands of the new, potent and safer drugs in terms of both economic cost and time efficiency. The common molecular pathways of different diseases and secondary indications of most of the approved drugs, and advances in genomics, informatics and biology, as well as the availability of approved or safe drug libraries can certainly provide an improved and efficient way of screening safer drugs for new indications.
While the notion of drug repositioning is not new, the drive to rescue compounds from the brink of obscurity has gained momentum. There prevails two forms of repositioning: Drug-centered, whereby promiscuous drugs act on more than one biological target; and Disease-centered, in which diseases that share pathophysiological mechanisms can be affected by the same drug.