This Cambridge Nonprofit Is Seeking Every Drug Ever Developed

May 15, 2018

(Boston Globe) – Every other day, it seems, scientists discover wondrous new drugs. But some disorders — including rare pediatric cancers — still draw scant interest from drug makers in search of larger markets, and have no medicines available to counter them. Now, researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have come up with a novel idea to try to change that. The nonprofit biomedical institute is seeking to acquire samples of every drug ever developed to see if they can be used to treat diseases besides those for which they were intended. That means collecting roughly 10,000 to 11,000 compounds discovered since the end of the 19th century. Most never made it to market, often because they weren’t effective or had unexpected side effects.

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