Drug Repurposing: Building the Path to Australian Success

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30 June 2021

Today we launch our latest report, a discussion paper – ‘Drug Repurposing: Building the Path to Australian Success – that explores the drug repurposing landscape in Australia and just what it will take to deliver more repurposed drugs in ways that improve people’s health.

Drug repurposing has the potential to provide Australian patients with greater access to medicines that have already been proven to be safe and cost-effective for other conditions. It is also an opportunity for Australian industry to grow new consumer markets.

Recently, the fight against COVID-19 has moved drug repurposing squarely into the spotlight, with existing antivirals, antimalarials and antirheumatics all being explored for potential effects on COVID-19. One example is remdesivir, a drug originally designed to treat Ebola and Marburg virus infections, which has been shown to have some effect against COVID-19 and has been approved for use against it.

Interest in drug repurposing has been rising for several years, yet there are barriers which impose high costs and create disincentives. Particular challenges exist when moving from the point of evidence availability through the regulatory and reimbursement pathway; an inflection point past which many candidates do not progress.

Understanding the challenges, and the options to encourage drug repurposing, is key to improving Australia’s repurposing efforts and improving consumer access to new medicines.

MTPConnect commissioned this report as part of its mission to drive connectivity, innovation, productivity and competitiveness in Australia’s MTP sector. We partnered with Indigo Advisory and consulted with more than 30 Australian-based stakeholders; from consumer and patient organisations to researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators and commercialisation experts.

With this report, we aim to show how Australia can participate more vigorously in this evolving activity and you are encouraged to join the discussion by downloading the report today.