Finding Promiscuous Old Drugs for New Uses

  • Sean Ekins, Antony J. Williams
  • Pharmaceutical Research, May 2011, Springer Science + Business Media
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11095-011-0486-6

new uses for old drugs

What is it about?

We collated information on 34 studies over 6 years which identified FDA drugs with new activities. Out of 109 molecules 13 had activity versus more than one target. We assessed the molecular properties of these compounds - and found they were generally quite large molecules. Also assessed rare disease drugs and found these to be more lead like than the promiscuous compounds. We curated these datasets and made them accessible

Why is it important?

Screening of FDA approved drug libraries at this time were relatively uncommon, and not coordinated. THis approach offers the identification of FDA approved drugs that could make it to the clinic faster for a new indication. This is important for rare diseases or diseases for which there is currently no treatment.


Dr Sean Ekins
Collaborations in Chemistry

This work is due to be updated as there are likely many more examples that can be added in the past 5 years. The compounds that had activity in more than one assay were of particular interest!

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Antony John Williams and Dr Sean Ekins