Drug repurposing is the strategy of using existing drugs originally developed for a specific disease to treat other diseases. We interviewed Dr. Joanna Zawacka-Pankau about her research in drug repurposing to treat cancer.
Academia and research companies play an active role in drug discovery. De novo drug discovery is a lengthy and costly process that involves large investments by pharmaceutical industry corporations and national governments. De novo drug discovery is an inefficient process with a low rate of new therapeutic discovery.
As opposed to de novo drug discovery, the strategy of using existing drugs originally developed for a specific disease to treat other diseases has found some success across medical fields in the last decades.
This strategy called “drug repurposing” is defined as the use of already approved commercially available molecules, that have proven safe in clinical trials, for indications different from the intended original ones.
From a scientific standpoint, the most rewarding advantages of drug repurposing, among others, are the discovery of novel therapies for unmet clinical needs, and the faster access of drugs to patients.
Today we meet with Dr. Joanna Zawacka-Pankau, Ph.D. in biochemistry, active as a researcher in Stockholm and as a lecturer at Warsaw University. She has been a Principal Investigator on several research grants on the pharmacological activation of p53 protein family members for improved cancer therapy, both in Poland and Sweden.
We asked her 5 questions about her research efforts in drug repurposing in oncology.