Drug repositioning and repurposing are state-of-the-art technologies, both nationally and internationally, as they can partially release the pharmaceutical industry from the current economic burden of developing new drugs. In this context, investment in orphan or neglected diseases, previously considered unprofitable because of their limited profit margin, is becoming more and more attractive. Notably, repurposed drugs may also reveal new molecular targets, expanding the pharmaceutical research and development portfolio.

Drug repositioning and repurposing consist of three phases: (a) the identification of a promising biomolecule for a given indication (working hypothesis phase), (b) the preclinical mechanistic evaluation of its bioactivity and (c) its efficacy evaluation in phase II clinical trials (if Phase I safety/ toxicity data exist in the context of the previous indication). Nowadays, a series of computational and experimental approaches are dedicated to drug repositioning and repurposing, being pharmaco-centric (and hence, based on the drug) or disease-centric (focusing on the disease of interest). All current approaches are built on 1D data (genome-transcriptome-proteome-metabolome) and text mining (clinical trials) and may refer to all three aforementioned phases.

Herein, we aim to develop a “one stop shop” next generation platform for drug repositioning and repurposing in the precision medicine era (CloudScreen). Our product system goes beyond existing strategies, as it:
(a) is not limited to 1D data, but curates/ integrates/ analyzes/ interprets 1D and 3D data (molecular design and computational chemistry)
(b) minimizes confounding in data mining/ integration/ analysis and promotes unbiased decision-making via the synergy of human and machine (artificial intelligence) reasoning capabilities (i) data mining services, ii) collaboration support services, and iii) decision making services)
(c) provides dynamic update capabilities and extends text data services (patents, ethical and legal issues) (d) serves as an “one-stop shop” tool for predicting and evaluating the efficacy and toxicity of repurposed biomolecules in new indications
The product system will be evaluated through a market-based pilot case (use case) that addresses the well-defined current challenges of computational approaches toward drug repositioning and repurposing.

The strategic partnership of the two participating organizations has begun since 2016 and has focused on (i) the innovative design, integration and application of computational approaches in target identification and drug discovery; and (ii) the integration and use of contextual data in drug research and development ( Cloudpharm, a Greek biotech start-up company, in collaboration with the National Hellenic Research Foundation/ Institute of Chemical Biology have launched and developed “one-stop shop” next generation computational approaches. Such approaches have been evaluated for their operability and competitive advantage at academic level and/ or on the basis of commercially valuable high-level information from unstructured Web 2.0 data for opinion mining.

The project will be completed in 30 months through 5 WPs, 2 research-oriented WPs and 3 WPs, supportive of the SME. The successful completion of our strategy will be of benefit and have a positive societal impact by recruiting at least 5 young scientists during the product development process and next, 15 young scientists during the test marketing and commercialization stages over a five-year period. A potential benefit to the SME will be the direct capitalization and commercial exploitation of the system-product as well as the strengthening of its extroversion and competitive advantage. National economy will gain benefit mainly through medium to long-term technology and services export.

This research has been co‐financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE (project code:T2EDK-03153)