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Auranofin: repurposing an old drug for a golden new age

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-03-01, 00:00 authored by Christine RoderChristine Roder, Melanie Thomson
Drug discovery, development and registration is an expensive and time-consuming process associated with a high failure rate [Pessetto et al. (Mol Cancer Ther 12:1299-1309, 2013), Woodcock and Woosley (Annu Rev Med 59:1-12, 2008)]. Drug 'repurposing' is the identification of new therapeutic purposes for already approved drugs and is more affordable and achievable than novel drug discovery [Pessetto et al. (Mol Cancer Ther 12:1299-1309, 2013)]. Auranofin is a drug that is approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis but is being investigated for potential therapeutic application in a number of other diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, HIV/AIDS, parasitic infections and bacterial infections [Tejman-Yarden et al. (Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57:2029-2035, 2013)]. The main mechanism of action of auranofin is through the inhibition of reduction/oxidation (redox) enzymes that are essential for maintaining intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species. Inhibition of these enzymes leads to cellular oxidative stress and intrinsic apoptosis [Pessetto et al. (Mol Cancer Ther 12:1299-1309, 2013), Fan et al. (Cell Death Dis 5:e1191, 2014), Fiskus et al. (Cancer Res 74:2520-2532, 2014), Marzano et al. (Free Radic Biol Med 42:872-881, 2007)]. Drugs such as auranofin that have already been approved for human use [Tejman-Yarden et al. (Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57:2029-2035, 2013)] can be brought into clinical use for other diseases relatively quickly and for a fraction of the cost of new drugs.

History

Journal

Drugs in R&D

Volume

15

Issue

1

Pagination

13 - 20

Publisher

Adis International

Location

Auckland, N.Z

eISSN

1179-6901

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Springer

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