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Rediscovering Existing Drugs

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

There's been a lot of talk lately about unlocking the hidden value from existing products, that is, drugs that have gone all the way from pure discovery, through the FDA regulatory process and into the hands of patients. These are the industry's greatest assets; they've already distinguished themselves from millions of other compounds by passing the myriad tests related to disease relevancy, safety, efficacy, and more safety, since safety isn't ultimately known until drugs disseminate through the treatment population, years after approval. Recently, there's been a shift to applying the industrial revolution in de novo drug discovery--the tools for screening and assaying libraries of random compounds-to existing drugs, as companies look for new products by reprofiling, repurposing, and redirecting the development of old drugs.
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