The landscape of the methodology in drug repurposing using human genomic data: a systematic review

Lijuan Wang, Ying Lu, Doudou Li, Lili Yu, Ines Mesa Eguiagaray, Harry Campbell, Xue Li, Evropi Theodoratou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The process of drug development is expensive and time-consuming. In contrast, drug repurposing can be introduced to clinical practice more quickly and at a reduced cost. Over the last decade, there has been a significant expansion of large biobanks that link genomic data to electronic health record (EHR) data, public availability of various databases containing biological and clinical information, and rapid development of novel methodologies and algorithms in integrating different sources of data. This review aims to provide a thorough summary of different strategies that utilize genomic data to seek drug-repositioning opportunities. We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to identify eligible studies up until 1st May 2023, with a total of 102 studies finally included after two-step parallel screening. We summarized commonly used strategies for drug repurposing, including Mendelian randomization, multi-omic-based and network-based studies, and illustrated each strategy with examples, as well as the data sources implemented. By leveraging existing knowledge and infrastructure to expedite the drug discovery process and reduce costs, drug repurposing potentially identifies new therapeutic uses for approved drugs in a more efficient and targeted manner. However, technical challenges when integrating different types of data and biased or incomplete understanding of drug interactions are important hindrances that cannot be disregarded in the pursuit of identifying novel therapeutic applications. This review offers an overview of drug repurposing methodologies, providing valuable insights and guiding future directions for advancing drug repurposing studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberbbad527
Number of pages10
JournalBriefings in bioinformatics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • systematic review
  • drug repurposing
  • methodology
  • genetic variants


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