In a speech at yesterday’s 2012 TEDMED conference, the head of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins, said that there is a big gap between basic research and drugs for patients. To bridge this gap he suggested ‘some of those old drugs could be re-purposed — or taught new tricks’ – hey, that’s our tag line!
In fact, the NIH has been encouraging this type of research for some time. One example is the establishment of the Pediatric Trials Network (PTN) at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. The NIH grant provides funding for trials that bridge what is known for existing drugs designed for adults to a pediatric population. Madeira Therapeutics is one such company seeking to use the PTN to conduct a trial. A sponsor could develop a formulation and have the clinical trials funded by the PTN.