A new article looks at how currently available drugs for various conditions might be repurposed alone or in combination with other drugs to treat infectious diseases. Such a strategy should be pursued in part because the development of new therapeutics and vaccines usually takes a long time with immense resources. In addition, the speed of developing new therapies for drug-resistant pathogens has not kept up with the evolution of drug resistance by these pathogens.
"Historically, drug repurposing for outbreaks of bacterial, viral, and related infections has been an underutilized vehicle for discovery of novel interventions due to the limited potential for commercialization. Thus, involvement of non-profit entities in the discovery process for such unmet needs is crucial," said Dr. Wei Zheng, lead author of the British Journal of Pharmacology study. "To combat global challenges caused by drug-resistant pathogens, a new model of translational research including government, academic researchers, and private drug industry is needed."