The use of FDA-approved drugs to treat various diseases helps to accelerate the development of new treatments. The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has re – purposed a cancer drug to treat neuroinflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis. A new drug carrier was also built to support drug delivery to target myeloid cells. The preliminary findings were published in EMBO Findings.

Microglia are macrophages found exclusively in the central nervous system. Microglia dysfunction has been linked to the majority of chronic neurodegenerative disease conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic multiple sclerosis (MS). A promising therapeutic strategy is to alter the stimulation of the disease-promoting microglia.

Microglia-targeting strategies have been recognised as valuable by the biotechnology industry, with 20 new companies emerging in recent years. When compared to new drugs, drug discovery programmes, which can take up to 20 yrs before a new drug is approved, using previously prescription meds can cut that time in half.”

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