FDA taps India's GVK for database support in drug recycling

The FDA has hit the gas on efforts to discover new uses for existing drugs, and Hyderabad, India-based GVK Biosciences has come along for the ride. GVK has licensed a database to the U.S. agency that includes loads of SAR, pharmacokinetic and toxicity information.

The FDA and NIH have pursued drug recycling as a way to find treatments for undertreated diseases at a lower cost than traditional drug research. Pharma companies have repositioned drugs for decades, sometimes finding lucrative new uses for compounds, as was the case with Pfizer's ($PFE) Viagra.

With new IT tools and informatics, drug hunters aim to discover new treatments with existing molecules in a scientific way, which draws on years of data on biomarkers and other research--as opposed to the serendipitous discoveries that led to Viagra and other products.

"Drug repositioning is gaining traction in the industry and in academia," Manni Kantipudi, GVK's CEO, said in a statement, "and is becoming a mandatory component of the drug development process."

In the collaboration with GVK, the FDA program will initially seek data to support the use of marketed drug compounds for treating orphan diseases, according to GVK's press release. GVK BIO says that its "Drug Repositioning Platform" includes 8 components required to tackle the challenge of finding new uses for drugs.

The company's GOSTAR database, for instance, includes 6.5 million compounds with data on 2.5 million patents and 400,000 journals, among other data points.

- here's the release