PG Member Paul Novick Thesis defense: drug repurposing successes so far

Today is an exciting day, as Paul Novick (one of the Pande Group members working behind the scenes, from a FAH perspective) is giving his thesis defense today.  The title is “Computationally Guided Re-purposing as a Drug Discovery Strategy”.  For those in the Stanford area, it will be in the Alway Building, M114 (Med School).

As a teaser and intro, here’s an intro to what he’s been working on:

Over the past several decades, the ability of the pharmaceutical industry to develop novel, impactful new therapies has diminished to the point where many formerly industry leading companies are now facing unsustainable business models. Development of a new chemical entity from initial target identification is now estimated to take 14 years with a price tag approaching $2 billion dollars. With many revenue driving therapies coming off patent within the next few years, there are serious concerns about the ability of the pharmaceutical industry to continue to finance innovation and the development of promising new drug candidates. In order to maintain solvency, heavy investments have been made in research technologies – such as genetic sequencing and analysis, high throughput screening, and combinatorial chemistry, among many others – promising to deliver faster, cheaper development timelines. Unfortunately, these approaches have yet to yield the dramatic improvements in research efficiencies that the industry so desperately needs. 
Paul will talk about the solutions we have developed to tackle these issues, by combining computation and drug repurposing.  This has yielded novel treatments for Chagas Disease and Dengue fever.