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Computational Drug Repurposing

Project Quick Facts

Principal Investigator

  • Prof. LEUNG Yee

    Department of Geography and Resource Management Institute of Future Cities

  • Prof. LEUNG Kwong-Sak

    Department of Computer Science and Engineering Institute of Future Cities

  • Prof. WONG Man Hon

    Department of Computer Science and Engineering

  • Dr. LI Hongjian

    Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Identifying new indications of clinically approved drugs for treating the cancer specific to a particular patient

Liver, colon, lung and bladder cancers are common causes of deaths worldwide. Surgical resection and conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy are likely to fail because of tumor recurrence and resistance. Hence, finding appropriate medications on a personal basis is now being intensively researched. We have recently developed a series of computer software to realize automatic identification of novel indications of approved drugs for the treatment of patient-specific cancer subtype via targeting the pharmacological oncoprotein mutants of a particular patient. In real-world applications, by utilizing the in-house in silico tools, we managed to reposition several clinically approved drugs as anticancer agents and filed patent applications for five of them.

This 3D molecular map of CDK2-Fluspirilene Complex is predicted by our software.
We found that Fluspirilene, a psychotropic drug, effectively inhibits an enzyme which has high level expression in a variety of cancers. Its performance in reducing the weight and volume of tumors is similar to that of a conventional anti-cancer drug.

Uniqueness and Competitive Advantages:

  • Repurposing existing drugs greatly reduces the cycle and cost of the research and development of new drugs
  • The development risk is reduced since existing drugs are approved and have been shown to be safe in late-stage trials
  • In a general sense, the applicability domain of our toolset could be expanded to treating any kind of diseases

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