Society Logo
ME/CFS Australia Ltd
Please click here to donate ME/CFS South Australia Inc

Registered Charity 3104


Mailing address:

PO Box 322,
Modbury North,
South Australia 5092

1300 128 339

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday,
10am - 4pm

ME/CFS South Australia Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.


ME/CFS South Australia Inc aims to keep members informed of various research projects, diets, medications, therapies, news items, etc. All communication, both verbal and written, is merely to disseminate information and not to make recommendations or directives.

Unless otherwise stated, the views expressed on this Web site are not necessarily the official views of the Society or its Committee and are not simply an endorsement of products or services.

Become a Member
DOCX Application Form (Word, 198 KB)
Why become a member?

With help from author Laura Hillenbrand, drug repurposing comes to CFS

Monday 27 February 2012


From The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog:


The Wall Street JournalWith Help from Author Laura Hillenbrand, Drug Repurposing Comes to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By Amy Dockser Marcus
FEBRUARY 23, 2012, 8:40 AM

The CFIDS Association of America says that $2 million in funding — backed by individual gifts including a $250,000 donation from best-selling writer Laura Hillenbrand, who has chronic fatigue syndrome — is going to grants and projects designed to accelerate the development of treatments for CFS.

One of the new projects: an attempt at so-called drug repurposing, when already-approved drugs for one indication are tried in a different disease.

As the WSJ has reported, drug repurposing is getting a big push from a number of quarters, including the NIH, which is targeting repurposing efforts in rare diseases, and organizations such as the ALS Therapy Development Institute, which recently reported that an approved multiple sclerosis drug appeared to be effective in mice with ALS.

The high cost of developing new therapies has helped drive recent interest in drug repurposing. The concept is that a drug already approved for one condition will cost less and move faster into the clinic if it turns out to also work in a different disease. Nonetheless, at first glance, CFS might seem an unusual condition in which to try drug repurposing.

CFS has no known cause. Doctors usually make the diagnosis by ruling out other problems. Many of the symptoms — including muscle and joint pain, cognitive dysfunction, headaches, and unrefreshing sleep — are very difficult to treat. There is currently no FDA-approved drug for CFS.

If repurposing succeeds in coming up with potential new therapies to test in CFS, it could serve as a model for other complex conditions. Many chronic diseases are heterogeneous, lack approved biomarkers, and are not well-defined, says Suzanne Vernon, the CFIDS Association’s scientific director. “CFS is in many ways in the norm when it comes to chronic diseases,” she says.

Hillenbrand, who says the success of her recent book “Unbroken” enabled her to make the $250,000 gift, tells the Health Blog she supports an integrated approach to CFS research. “Things are finally happening,” Hillenbrand says.

She points out that one of the most promising recent developments in CFS was actually a repurposing project. Researchers in Norway published research last year suggesting that the cancer drug Rituxan relieved symptoms in some CFS patients.

The CFIDS Association’s repurposing project will be run by the biotech Biovista. The company created a technology that is able to analyze huge quantities of information — drugs in the public domain, adverse event databases, gene targets, patents, medical literature — and look for novel connections between drugs’ mechanisms of action and key symptoms of CFS, says Aris Persidis, president of Charlottesville, Va.-based Biovista.

In any disease where there is “tremendous data and history” and the available facts are “interpreted differently by different groups of experts,” it can seem difficult to find new drug candidates, says Persidis.  A computational approach allows novel analysis “without any bias, in an agnostic manner,” he adds.


The above originally appeared here.



blog comments powered by Disqus

Previous Previous Page