Mining small-molecule screens to repurpose drugs

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Repurposing and repositioning drugs-discovering new uses for existing and experimental medicines-is an attractive strategy for rescuing stalled pharmaceutical projects, finding treatments for neglected diseases, and reducing the time, cost and risk of drug development. As this strategy emerged, academic researchers began performing high-throughput screens (HTS) of small molecules-the type of experiments once exclusively conducted in industry-and making the data from these screens available to all. Several methods can mine this data to inform repurposing and repositioning efforts. Despite these methods' limitations, it is hopeful that they will accelerate the discovery of new uses for known drugs, but this hope has not yet been realized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
JournalBriefings in Bioinformatics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Chemical informatics
  • Data analysis
  • Data mining
  • Drug repurposing
  • High-throughput screening


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