The drug company Eli Lilly will screen more than 3,800 approved and investigational medicines to find potential new uses for the drugs in a partnership with the US National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).
The medicines are part of the NCATS pharmaceutical collection. Results of the screening, which will take place over the next 12–18 months, will be posted publicly at the pharmaceutical collection’s website, Lilly and the National Institutes of Health said today in a press release.
NCATS, the newest center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), opened its doors this January. Its goal is to speed the time and decrease the cost it takes to bring new drugs to market. Critics have suggested that it will be difficult for the NIH to do what the drug industry has already tried and failed to do.
But NCATS acting director Thomas Insel said that the new partnership is an example of how NIH can play a unique part in drug development.
“Working together, we can make drug development pipelines more productive. The key is precompetitive collaboration to benefit all partners, ensuring broad access to the results,” Insel said in the NIH press release.