Applied Clinical Trials

June 7, 2016

By Bruce Bloom, JD, DDS

There are over 7,000 “unsolved” diseases for which patients have no universally successful treatment. There are also thousands of generic drugs that can be repurposed to help these patients. Built on knowledge from scientific discoveries, anecdotal evidence, and/or bioinformatics, generic drug repurposing research can often lead to quick and affordable development of “new” medical solutions. Once a generic drug repurposing opportunity has been identified, a key issue is whether the clinical trial validation should focus on supporting a path to commercialization or to physician off-label use. The direction of focus depends on the entity supporting the clinical trial development.

Development entities that support generic drug repurposing clinical trials are either commercial or philanthropic. When thinking about outcomes, commercial entities (pharma, biotech, financial investors) typically focus on financial and shareholder value, while philanthropic entities (patient advocacy groups, foundations, individual philanthropists, government) primarily focus on patient impact.

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Stanford Social Innovation Review

April 8, 2016

By Bruce Bloom

Around 500 million people globally suffer from one of 7,000 diseases that lack a known,
effective treatment. But new drugs developed by the pharmaceutical industry address only 10
to 30 additional diseases each year. At this rate, it would take between 250 and 700 years to
find treatments for them all!

Fortunately, new drugs are not the only answer. We can also test the clinical benefits of drugs
already approved for human use for one disease for the treatment of other diseases. In this
way, we could quickly repurpose thousands of cheap and widely available generic drugs to
create “new” treatments for diseases that currently lack remedies.

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One Health of a Life: Deborah Collyer

April 28, 2016

Guest blog post by Dr. Bruce Bloom, Amy Conn, and Dr. Clare Thibodeaux

Currently more than 500 million people worldwide suffer from diseases that lack effective treatments. As a result, global health care costs are growing and patients are suffering. Yet new drug discovery can take 10-15 years and can cost over $2 billion. This process is too long and costly for many patients who needs a solution today.

Instead, repurposing leverages prior investments by finding new uses for “old” drugs. This means repurposed treatments can reach patients in about 3 years and for less than $500,000.

Testing for repurposing sometimes means they are first tested in tissue samples or animal models in laboratories to find accurate dosing. If this pre-clinical research is done, the drug can quickly move into human trials. In some cases, it moves into human trials immediately.

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Blog Talk Radio

Pharma Talk Radio

April 1, 2016

Generic drugs can be repurposed to create effective treatments in unsolved diseases. However, there is no economic incentive for industry to pay for a clinical validation and regulatory approval process for most generic drug repurposing because it will not achieve the necessary ROI.

Cures Within Reach, FindaCure, Numbers For Good and the National Health Service in England are working together to the create a new economic solution to this problem by piloting the first ever Rare Disease Generic Drug Repurposing Social Impact Bond (SIB). This SIB would be a “pay for success” initiative, in which investors fund the proof of concept repurposing clinical trials and the government provides a payment to the SIB for any repurposed therapies that both improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

The government success payment would allow the SIB to repay the investors, and have additional funds for the next group of repurposing clinical trials, creating a sustainable funding source for generic drug repurposing.

Hear the full episode here.

Med City News

Meghana Keshavan

April 13, 2016

In the wake of all the price gouging antics we’ve seen at Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Turing Pharmaceuticals, Bruce Bloom’s Cures Within Reach provides a breath of fresh, philanthropic air.

The organization’s all about generic drugs – but unlike, say, Martin Shkreli, Bloom’s big idea is to repurpose existing drugs and lessen the overall costs of healthcare. It’s reliant on the idea of a government that pays industry for measurable improvements in public health – which, in Cures Within Reach’s case, involve the treatment of rare diseases.

Bloom spoke today at INVEST, MedCity News’ healthcare investment conference in Chicago. He laid out the mission of Cures Within Reach: To re-examine research and gather information on off-label drug use, and deploy generic drugs to treat rare diseases.

The model has shown some success. For example, Bloom says the organization was able to help bring the treatment cost of the rare disease Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome, or ALPS, from $100,000 to $5,000. Researchers found that by repurposing the drug sirolimus, they were able to bring remission rates up to 85 percent – while reducing the spend by $95,000.

 Read the full article here!

MedCity News

March 23, 2016

By Chris Seper

MedCity INVEST – April 12-13 in Chicago

At MedCity INVEST, active investors connect with corporate business development executives to facilitate investment opportunities with over 40 of the most promising healthcare start-ups that span the biotech, medical device, digital health, diagnostics, pharma, and regenerative medicine sectors.

Over 300 healthcare experts, industry leaders, active investors and entrepreneurs will be in attendance at this premier healthcare investing event April 12-13 in Chicago to discuss the latest trends in investing, the business of medicine, the best opportunities and more.

INVEST will feature three leading healthcare leaders who will describe new approaches to healthcare, what’s working, what’s not and their vision of the future. They are:

Bruce Bloom, President and Chief Science Officer, Cures Within Reach (@CuresWReach)

Beg, Borrow and Steal: Repurposing Non-Healthcare Financial Instruments to Drive New Treatments to Patients
Bloom will describe how financial instruments used in other business sectors can be repurposed in healthcare: to deliver more treatments, reduce and manage direct healthcare costs, positively impact patients and payers, and provide opportunity for investors and industry.

Dr. Bruce Bloom is President and CSO of Cures Within Reach, a charity saving lives by repurposing approved drugs and devices to deliver a dozen fast, safe and affordable treatments for diseases that had no effective therapy. He founded CureAccelerator™, the global online repurposing research collaboration platform driving more treatments to more patients more quickly.

Register today and save.

Read Full Article Here.

Global Genes RARECast with Daniel Levine

January 27, 2016

The high cost and long time it takes to develop drugs has people looking for alternative strategies for finding new treatments. One such approach is repurposing—finding new uses for already approved drugs. This is particularly compelling for rare diseases where small patient populations can serve as a disincentive to drug developers and the need for therapeutics is largely unmet. We spoke to Bruce Bloom, president and chief science officer of Cures Within Reach, which launched the crowdsourcing platform CureAccelerator to fund repurposing research for rare diseases. Bloom discussed the benefits of repurposing, how the CureAccelerator will work, and why he believes the initiative could help to build a new approach to repurposing research and developing treatments for rare disease. Listen to the full episode here!

Assay and Drug Development Technologies, Volume 13 Issue 10

December 21, 2015

Bruce E. Bloom

Repurposing research improves patient lives by taking drugs approved for one disease and clinically testing them to create a treatment for a different disease. Repurposing drugs that are generic, inexpensive, and widely available and that can be taken in their current dosage and formulation in the new indication provide a quick, affordable, and effective way to create

Clinical Informatics News, December 3, 2015

Allison Proffitt

For severely ill children with a rare disease called autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS), dead white blood cells build up in the organs instead of being broken down normally. But two pills a day of a drug approved for use after kidney transplants gives some total remission of their disease.

A laser developed to treat epilepsy can be trained on a cancerous prostate, killing the cancerous cells but not damaging the surrounding nerves, the bowel, or other critical structures.

PharmaTimes Magazine, November/December 2015

George Underwood

The use of approved, well-known medicines to treat patients with entirely different conditions is a tried-and-tested formula for pharma companies, even when the discoveries are largely serendipitous. Using prostate-shrinking finasteride in hair regrowth, beta-blocker propranolol in infants with abnormal blood vessels and cancer-beating bevacizumab in age-related macular degeneration were all strokes of luck that proved highly effective.


November 19, 2015

Findacure has teamed up with the US-based Cures Within Reach to help develop the concept of social investment for rediscovery research for fundamental diseases. Dr Bruce Bloom of Cures Within Reach explains how this works:

Rediscovery research improves lives by taking drugs approved for one disease and repurposing them to create a new treatment in a different disease. When the repurposed drug is generic and able to be taken in the current dosage and formulation, there is often little or no profit to be gained, so industry does not fund these repurposing projects. Currently, philanthropy funds them, and that funding is hard to get.

Science Translational Medicine, via PRNewswire

November 12, 2015

Researchers have taken a significant step forward in developing gene therapy against a fatal neurodegenerative disease that strikes children. By delivering a working version of a gene to produce a key enzyme that is lacking in Batten disease, the scientists delayed symptoms and extended lifespan in dogs with a comparable disease.

Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, October 20, 2015

Francesco Bertolini, Vikas P. Sukhatme & Gauthier Bouche

In most countries, healthcare service budgets are not likely to support the current explosion in the cost of new oncology drugs. Repurposing the large arsenal of approved, non-anticancer drugs is an attractive strategy to offer more-effective options to patients with cancer, and has the substantial advantages of cheaper, faster and safer preclinical and clinical validation protocols. The potential benefits are so relevant that funding of academically and/or independently driven preclinical and clinical research programmes should be considered at both national and international levels.

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