Today, the Cancer Research Society launches UpCycle, its new drug repurposing funding program, which aims at paving a new way toward innovative therapeutic options in the field of cancer. The repurposing of drugs is a proven approach in numerous fields of therapy. It aims for repositioning the use of existing drugs for new applications thanks to the progress of research. The Society wishes to encourage this approach, specifically in oncology, in order to allow a more rapid development of treatments at lesser risk and expense.
The Cancer Research Society is the first organization in Canada seeking to systematically explore and implement the untapped potential of existing medication for the treatment of cancer. Of the roughly 1,500 drugs already approved for treating various human diseases, several have shown themselves able to reduce the risk of developing a particular cancer, halt the progression of tumour cells or reduce the number of relapses.
“The repositioning of drugs is not new; there are already a number of successes in different fields of research. However, I am convinced that we have seen only the tip of the iceberg with respect to oncology. We are confident we can significantly increase our chances of outsmarting cancer by investing in this type of research,” explains Max Fehlmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Research Society.
Canadian researchers who submit the most promising drug repurposing projects will have the opportunity to obtain funding in an amount up to $100,000 to explore and develop their hypotheses. This initial funding will be granted beginning in the fall of 2018. The Society also plans to provide additional support over the next few years to help advance the most impactful projects.