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New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Drugs

Dr Peter Surman, Chief Scientific Officer for Douglas Pharmaceuticals, will discuss the company’s drug repurposing programme.

Eighty percent of drugs that enter human clinical testing are never approved for use. This means that for every five drugs that make it into the clinic, there are four that failed to show effectiveness for treating the disease or condition the drug was designed to treat. This high failure rate means there are many existing, partially developed therapeutic candidates with known pharmacology, formulation, and potential toxicity.

However, there are new opportunities for existing drugs or biologics that have been approved by FDA for novel indications “repositioning”, which builds upon previous research and development efforts, so new candidate therapies can be advanced to clinical trials for a new use more quickly than starting from scratch.



Mar 25
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


University of Auckland
SBS Reception Lounge, 3a Symonds St, Thomas Building