Research into repurposing medicines

Research into repurposing medicines
Research into repurposing medicines

Over the next 7 years, 28 partners from 10 countries (the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States) will join forces to create a unique platform for drug repurposing.

Underlying mechanisms

The idea of ​​drug repurposing is quite simple: “If we can understand the underlying mechanisms of a specific disease for which we have a drug, then we can also reuse that drug for another disease that shares those mechanisms.” So says Harald Schmidt, professor of pharmacology at UM and coordinator of the project.


Only this is not happening yet. According to the researchers, this is mainly due to the way we define diseases and approach drug development. Most underlying disease mechanisms are not understood and are thus more likely to be treated symptomatically. When someone has intestinal problems, he or she goes to a gastroenterologist. This person then prescribes medication aimed at the specific complaint. But, how does the specialist know whether the problems lie in other clinical disciplines and whether another drug does not work better?

19th century view of medicine

REPO4EU is based on the belief in systems medicine. This is a fairly new view of medicine that focuses not on the symptoms of disease, but on the underlying molecular or genetic causes. Systems medicine opposes the 19th-century view of medicine, in which diseases were classified on the basis of symptoms and the human body was divided into clinical disciplines. By focusing on causes, it is possible to better examine where similarities lie between different syndromes. In that case, it may well be that a medicine can be used in the treatment of several diseases, or that doctors must work together in a multidisciplinary team to treat certain diseases.

By: National Care Guide

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Research repurposing medicines

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