Unrealized potential of drug repositioning in Europe during COVID-19 and beyond: a physician’s perspective
Drug repositioning is the scientific strategy of investigating existing drugs for additional clinical indications. The advantages of drug repositioning are that it benefits patients and that it adds new indications to existing drugs for lower costs compared to de novo drug development. Clinical research groups recognizing efficacy of these “old” drugs for a new indications often face an uphill struggle due to a lack of funding and support because of poor structural and regulatory support for clinical drug development.
An international group of researchers, including Avivia CEO Hans Platteeuw, believe there is ample evidence that antimalarial drugs can be used to treat COVID-19 and that they should be assessed for their efficacy in clinical trials.
The research group, from institutions across Europe, Asia and Africa, point to a combination of the drugs artesunate and pyronaridine as the most promising.
The public-private consortium to run this project includes leading academic groups and for-profit parties with a track record in drug discovery and development, extensive knowledge of medicinal chemistry and virology. The development of an effective treatment and prophylactic agent for COVID-19 will have a profound social and economic impact today. In addition, a broad spectrum antiviral will help to contain/curb future epidemic coronavirus outbreaks and to treat future patients.
With the current corona virus, face caps and disinfectant soap and hand gel are hardly available in the stores. Although you can discuss the usefulness of face masks, washing your hands regularly is an effective way to reduce the odds of getting sick. If water isn’t available a hand disinfection spray for the road is very useful.
TT4CL (Targeted treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis) is a new Horizon 2020-funded project which aims to reduce the burden of Neglected Infectious Diseases (NID) and its social and economic impacts. Horizon 2020, the European Union’s (EU) research and innovation programme, helps to bridge the gap between preclinical and clinical development and thus helps to advance promising new drug candidates along the development pipeline. The TT4CL consortium, which brings together partners from academia and industry in Europe and disease-endemic countries, has been awarded EUR3.75 million to develop an oral treatment, D121, against one of the most neglected tropical diseases, cutaneous leishmaniasis.