REMEDi4ALL – Drug repurposing
REMEDi4ALL aims to make a significant leap forward in drug repurposing. This promising approach to drug development, consisting of identifying, testing, and validating new therapeutic indications for existing medications, is a developing field but faces numerous barriers and systemic inefficiencies. Still, its potential to significantly bring down times and costs of drug development – it focuses on already approved, discontinued, shelved or investigational therapeutics – makes this novel strategy attractive for rare and neglected conditions, cancer, emerging public health threats such as COVID-19 or new drug combinations. It also translates into more sustainable health systems.
The project is dedicated to establishing a European research and innovation eco-system that facilitates fast and cost-effective patient-centric development and access to repurposed medicines. To this end, REMEDi4ALL will:
- build a state-of-the-art platform to provide expertise and services across the complete value chain (scientific, methodological, financial, legal, regulatory, intellectual property) for patient-centric medicine repurposing at every development stage and in any disease area.
- assemble advanced in silico tools for Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), open datasets, and tools and expertise required to understand the mechanism of action of specific medicines.
- create a global community of practice connected in a think-tank-like environment through impactful multidisciplinary activities and events.
- train and educate the next generation of researchers, clinicians, patients, policymakers, regulators, and funders in cutting-edge drug repurposing tools and processes.
- favor dialogue and debate to advance policy and fair access to repurposed medicines across the EU.
REMEDi4ALL has selected four medicine repurposing projects in different stages of development to demonstrate the viability of the newly created platform. Each project covers a separate therapeutic area with high unmet medical needs – pancreatic cancer, COVID-19, rare diseases, and ultra-rare diseases. These projects will first be onboarded to ensure a patient-centric approach before testing all platform elements to optimize its tools and services.
The REMEDi4ALL consortium comprises 24 organizations in clinical and translational research, clinical operations, patient engagement and education, regulatory framework, funding, governance, Health Technology Assessment (HTA), or pricing and reimbursement. Among them are the three Fraunhofer institutes Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology ITMP, Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI, and Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI.
Fraunhofer SCAI brings its expertise from the Human Brain Pharmacome (HBP) project into REMEDI4ALL. With Fraunhofer ITMP, SCAI has developed a drug-repurposing approach that combines in silico analyses and in vitro screenings. Another result of HBP was the development of a drug- and mechanism-oriented model. The HBP was used to mine data related to drugs and targets to generate a hypothesis. Experimental evidence validated the predicted drug-target combinations (more).
SCAI will add tools and data to a sustainable repository of open-source AI tools and open access datasets for supporting user-driven in silico discovery applications in Work Package 4 (Research data, tools, and in silico discovery). Examples are the following pharmacomes: Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and COVID-19 – accessible via the Biomedical Knowledge Miner (BiK>Mi).
REMEDi4ALL will receive 23M euros from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research & Innovation programme (grant agreement No 101057442) over the next 5 years.