The Repurposing Drugs in Oncology (ReDO) project is an international collaboration initiated by a diverse group of researchers, clinicians and patient advocates all working in the not-for-profit sector. Our goal is to seek new and effective cancer treatments with low toxicity that meet the needs of existing patients in as short a time-frame as possible and at a cost that is affordable both in developed and developing countries.
What do we mean by repurposing? It is the use of existing and well-characterised non-cancer drugs as new treatments for cancer – either as additions to existing drug protocols or in novel combinations with multiple repurposed drugs. Drug repurposing can be seen as a response to the productivity issues in current drug development, as well as a strategy to reduce development times and as a source of low-cost treatments to meet the increased demands and unmet needs of cancer patients. We feel that repurposing may represent an untapped source of novel therapies.
There is no shortage of drug candidates for repurposing, and there are too many candidate drugs with some potential activity that warrants some degree of investigation. However, there are candidate drugs for which there is a higher degree of evidence. Often the evidence is dispersed, unsummarised or otherwise obscured. The ReDO project aims to:
- Identify the most promising drugs for further clinical investigation
- Review and bring to the attention of clinical investigators the data for these drugs
- Document on how these drugs can be combined with existing therapies, or with other repurposed drugs
- Develop clinical trials to provide positive or negative evidence of efficacy
- Where necessary, suggest areas where further pre-clinical work is necessary