UCL taps Elsevier resource to advance drug repurposing research

UCL has made Elsevier's PharmaPendium available to its researchers. The United Kingdom academic institution has subscribed to the resource to support its staffers' research into drug repurposing and the personalization of treatments.

London, U.K.-based UCL is rolling out the resource at its recently-established Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics group, the remit of which covers the translation of research into immunity, obesity and the cardiovascular system into medical advances. The UCL group is particularly interested in tweaking the use of existing molecules, for example by adjusting the dosing regimen to make a drug safer for seniors. The broad idea is to take drugs approved for the largest possible patient population and make them safer and more effective for subpopulations.

UCL is hoping to find clues about which tweaks will prove effective hidden in the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetic data of existing drugs. Accessing data is an issue, though. "Finding information that reflects regulatory insight and requirements in order to uncover repurposing opportunities and to suggest new personalized dosing regimens can be a challenge," UCL's Professor Oscar Della Pasqua said in a statement. PharmaPendium--specifically the data from FDA approval documents and other sources it contains--is part of how UCL wants to meet this challenge.

"Our researchers can get a full picture of the clinical development process, including access to the regulatory data used to support the filing and approval of medicinal product," Pasqua said. Pasqua is looking to the resource to cut the time it takes for researchers to access information, something he thinks the data structure and search capabilities of PharmaPendium will enable.

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