07.09.2022 00:00 Age: 18 days

The first step in the journey from imprecise drug therapy to precision medicine - REPO4EU’s Euro/Global Platform for Drug Repurposing

Category: Research

Only very few drugs show significant benefit across the general patient population due to imprecise targeting. As a consequence, often symptoms of a disease rather than its molecular cause are treated. REPO4EU aims to develop a platform for the data-driven recommendation of drug repurposing candidates. The Big Data in BioMedicine group, headed by Dr. Markus List at the TUM School of Life Sciences, will contribute to this project with expertise in computational systems biology and network pharmacology.

REPO4EU’s goal is to build and grow an industry-level European online platform for validated precision drug repurposing with a global reach. (Image Ulleo/Pixabay)

REPO4EU’s goal is to build and grow an industry-level European online platform for validated precision drug repurposing with a global reach. This platform will operate as the go-to data hub for key information, training resources, matchmaking and cooperation in drug repurposing.

The platform will provide extensive expertise throughout the whole value chain in drug repurposing: from freedom-to-operate analysis to intellectual property protection and business development, health technology assessment, ethics and data governance considerations.

Drug repurposing

During the next 7 years, 28 partners from 10 countries (The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States) will join forces to make REPO4EU a reality and create a unique platform for drug repurposing, pooling stakeholders and expertise at a global stage to create a “made in Europe”, fully-fledged infrastructure for drug repurposing.

“Even though we have witnessed an exponential increase in the volume of drug discovery investments since the 80s, overall efficacy has stagnated in the pharmaceutical sector – there is currently no way of differentiating between patients who will benefit and those who will not, and unwanted side effects cannot be predicted reliably”, says the REPO4EU-Team.

The reason? “There is a conceptual problem in how we define diseases and, consequently, in the way we currently approach drug development. Most underlying disease mechanisms are not understood and are thus rather treated symptomatically in an imprecise manner.”

Curing diseases with high precision

Chronic diseases are only chronic because we do not know how to cure them yet. REPO4EU’s organ-agnostic approach will push drug repurposing to its full potential by mixing Big Data, Artificial Intelligence-driven bioinformatics and Network Science with advanced cheminformatics to redefine diseases in a mechanism-based manner and repurpose drugs beyond their original target.

The Big Data in BioMedicine group, headed by Dr. Markus List at the TUM School of Life Sciences, will contribute to this project with expertise in computational systems biology and network pharmacology. “The group will work on the integration of large-scale high-quality omics data with state-of-the-art statistical models and prior knowledge on molecular interactions from public databases”, says Dr. List.

More information:

The REPO4EU project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program.

Editing:
Dr. Katharina Baumeister
Technical University of Munich
Corporate Communications Center
Tel. +49 8161 71 5403
katharina.baumeister[at]tum.de

Scientific contact:
Dr. Markus List
TUM School of Life Sciences
Head of the Big Data in BioMedicine Group, Chair of Experimental Bioinformatics, Acting Vice Dean Information Management
Tel. +49 8161 71 2761
markus.list[at]tum.de; twitter: @itisalist; orcid