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      Drug Repurposing Then, Now, and in the Future

        1 ,
      2-3 September, 2022
      Biological Ontologies, Data Mining, Expert Systems, Network Pharmacology, Patents as Topic


            Drug repurposing goes back much further than the late 2000s when the term first came into broad use. Contrary to the impression that has been created by the publicity enjoyed by a few prominent exceptions, pure serendipity never dominated; scientific considerations were always at the forefront and the field developed as our understanding of molecular pharmacology grew. Ultimately drug repurposing exploits two facts: (a) hardly any drug has only a single molecular target; and (b) modulating a target can have different effects depending on where it is expressed and what the physiological circumstances are. However, “connecting the dots” in new creative ways that allow the right experiments to be designed requires not only comprehensive pharmacological knowledge but also the ability to make mental leaps that transcend conventional thinking. It was this “art-in-science” concept that used to dominate “rational” drug repurposing (as opposed to discovery by high-throughput screening). In recent years computational tools such as in silico docking, data mining and algorithmic expert systems have been refined to the point where they can assist with concept generation, introducing systematic elements that had been largely absent from the field. In combination with advanced network medicine and – above all - molecularly defined disease ontologies instead of organ-based ones the opportunities are almost boundless; recent examples illustrate this.[1] One computational segment where we do not yet bring existing technologies fully to bear is the mining of information that is implicitly contained in sources beyond peer reviewed papers (e.g., regulatory or patent documents, which often contain data that are not readily available elsewhere[2,3]) and their full integration with existing knowledge. This is one of the objectives which the REPO4EU Horizon Europe project will address while developing a drug repurposing framework.


            Author and article information

            14 August 2022
            [1 ] H.M. Pharma Consultancy, Enenkelstr. 28/32, A-1160 Wien, Austria
            Author notes
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            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

            Maastricht, Netherlands
            2-3 September, 2022
            : 14 August 2022

            Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
            Biological Ontologies,Patents as Topic,Network Pharmacology,Expert Systems, Data Mining


            1. Kandasamy Thirukumaran, Sen Plaboni, Ghosh Siddhartha Sankar. Multi‐targeted Drug Repurposing Approach for Breast Cancer via Integrated Functional Network Analysis. Molecular Informatics. Vol. 41(8)2022. Wiley. [Cross Ref]

            2. Mucke Hermann A. M.. Drug Repositioning in the Mirror of Patenting: Surveying and Mining Uncharted Territory. Frontiers in Pharmacology. Vol. 8:2017. Frontiers Media SA. [Cross Ref]

            3. Mucke Hermann, Mucke Peter. Drug repurposing patent documents vs peer review: patent information comes more than 600 days earlier on average. Future Drug Discovery. Vol. 2(2)2020. Future Science Ltd. [Cross Ref]


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