Drug repositioning and repurposing: terminology and definitions in literature

Joris Langedijk, Aukje K Mantel-Teeuwisse, Diederick S Slijkerman, Marie-Hélène D B Schutjens

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Drug repositioning and similar terms have been a trending topic in literature and represent novel drug development strategies. We analysed in a quantitative and qualitative manner how these terms were used and defined in the literature. In total, 217 articles referred to 'drug repositioning', 'drug repurposing', 'drug reprofiling', 'drug redirecting' and/or 'drug rediscovery'. Only 67 included a definition ranging from brief and general to extensive and specific. No common definition was identified. Nevertheless, four common features were found: concept, action, use and product. The different wording used for these features often leads to essential differences in meaning between definitions. In case a clear definition is needed, for example from a legal or regulatory perspective, the features can provide further guidance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1034
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


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