A free online toolkit has been launched to help researchers navigate the opportunities and challenges of repurposing medicines for different indications.
The toolkit was created by medical research charity LifeArc and the Medical Research Council (MRC).
“Having learned the challenges of repurposing firsthand, I think this toolkit is enormously practical and valuable,” commented Professor Patrick Chinnery, MRC’s Clinical Director. “The major opportunities presented by repurposing are speed, so medicines can reach patients faster, and lower costs, which is needed both within the NHS and lower-income countries.”
Developed in consultation with scientific, industrial and regulatory experts, the toolkit signposts users to a wealth of existing information. It includes advice on research steps for demonstrating safety and efficacy, the regulatory environment, patient engagement, accessing the medicine and existing data, intellectual property considerations and funding sources.
Dr Joanna Davidge, Principal Business Manager at LifeArc, added: “While the path to patients will be unique for each project, the new toolkit will provide useful guidance to support charities, researchers and others embarking on a repurposing journey. It will help them to navigate the potential roadblocks and find ways to overcome them – helping to improve the likelihood of potentially life-changing medicines reaching the people who need them.”
The toolkit was created following demand from a roundtable hosted by LifeArc and Pinsent Masons last year. A report from the event, ‘Repurposing medicines: the opportunity and the challenges’ was published by LifeArc.