Drug Repurposing: A Paradigm Shift in Drug Discovery

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Saravanan Jayaram
Emdormi Rymbai
Deepa Sugumar
Divakar Selvaraj


The traditional methods of drug discovery and drug development are a tedious, complex, and costly process.
Target identification, target validation; lead identification; and lead optimization are a lengthy and unreliable
process that further complicates the discovery of new drugs. A study of more than 15 years reports that the
success rate in the discovery of new drugs in the fields of ophthalmology, cardiovascular, infectious disease,
and oncology to be 32.6%, 25.5%, 25.2% and 3.4%, respectively. A tedious and costly process coupled with a
very low success rate makes the traditional drug discovery a less attractive option. Therefore, an alternative to
traditional drug discovery is drug repurposing, a process in which already existing drugs are repurposed for
conditions other than which were originally intended. Typical examples of repurposed drugs are thalidomide,
sildenafil, memantine, mirtazapine, mifepristone, etc. In recent times, several databases have been developed
to hasten drug repurposing based on the side effect profile, the similarity of chemical structure, and target site.
This work reviews the pivotal role of drug repurposing in drug discovery and the databases currently available
for drug repurposing.

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How to Cite
Jayaram S, Rymbai E, Sugumar D, Selvaraj D. Drug Repurposing: A Paradigm Shift in Drug Discovery. IJAPSR [Internet]. 30Jun.2020 [cited 16Apr.2021];5(04):60-8. Available from: https://www.sierrajournals.com/index.php/IJAPSR/article/view/1042
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