Teaching old drugs new tricks


Teaching old drugs new tricks

Developing new drugs is time-consuming and expensive. DelMar Pharma researches old drugs and establishes new IP around them to streamline the process. LSIPR spoke to chief executive Jeffrey Bacha about the company’s approach.

For a variety of reasons, some drugs disappear into pharmaceutical obscurity. Problems with IP licensing, toxicity, or lack of understanding about the mechanism of a drug at the time of its discovery may all be to blame, though some of these abandoned medicines can be picked up by new companies and repurposed or repositioned for use within the context of modern care where unmet needs remain.

In December 2011, the US-based National Institutes of Health established the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to accelerate the development of new treatments for patients by using old knowledge about the causes of diseases.

The benefits of researching known disease-driving mechanisms and making modern treatments from them are plain: according to the NCATS website, developing new drugs, from discovery of the therapeutic target to the approval, takes an average of 14 years, and the cost per successful drug is about $2 billion, adjusting for all failures.

DelMar Pharma, IP strategy, repurposing drugs, pharmaceuticals, cancer