The drug repurposing landscape is changing and so is our #DrugRepo22 conference!

by | Sep 9, 2022 | Blog, News, Rare disease world

The 9th annual Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases Conference is coming to London LIVE and IN-PERSON next month!

Will you be in attendance?

Our annual drug repurposing conference highlights the role that drug repurposing can play in lowering the cost and time associated with traditional drug development. After almost a decade, we’re thrilled to say that the world is beginning to care about drug repurposing. This innovative approach to drug development stepped into the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic and never looked back.

Repurposing schemes, projects and ideas are now in place to accelerate access to desperately needed medicines. The answers have been right under our noses all along! The world is recognising the opportunities to repurpose medicines to treat often rare and neglected conditions.

The drug repurposing landscape has shifted and so too will our Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases Conference 2022.

At Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases 2022, we’re shifting our programme to match the new drug repurposing landscape; one that’s filled with hope, promise and innovation. Instead of inspiring attendees with case studies on how you could succeed with a repurposing project, we’re taking a more active approach by sharing how you can take your repurposing project to the next level.

We’ve seen numerous projects come to the forefront that have drastically changed the repurposing landscape. These projects are making a measurable difference in the lives of patients. Structural changes have been introduced to improve how the scientific community approaches drug repurposing projects. Every innovation is advancing repurposing projects in a meaningful, patient-centric way.

Our programme will highlight those who dared to believe in drug repurposing and are bringing repurposed medicines to patients at an accelerated rate.

Discover the projects that’ll be discussed in more detail at Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases 2022 and claim that ticket!


The REMEDi4ALL consortium is led by EATRIS (the European infrastructure for translational medicine) and consists of 24 UK and European partners – Beacon being one of them! The REMEDi4ALL platform supports the translation of repurposing ideas so that vital medicines can reach patients faster. Learn more about Beacon’s role in this ground-breaking project and register to attend #DrugRepo22 to hear more about REMEDi4ALL from Anton, EATRIS’ Operations & Finance Director!


Anton Ussi

NHS Repurposing Scheme

Learn how NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to bring existing and off-label medicines to license to increase patient access to treatments!

The Medicines Repurposing Programme is a multi-agency initiative that’s designed to strengthen the evidence base, licensing, supply and cost-effectiveness of repurposed medicines with the goal of creating equitable access in the NHS.

Attend #DrugRepo22 to find out more!


Rosie Lovett

LifeArc and Medical Research Council (MRC)’s drug repurposing toolkit

Discover how LifeArc collaborated with the MRC to produce a toolkit that provides realistic advice, recommendations and guidance on how researchers and charities can move their repurposing programme forward!


Joanna Davidge

Centre for Drug Development, Cancer Research UK

Discover the DETERMINE trial – the first UK national precision medicine trial for adults, young adults and children with rare cancers!

Hear how Cancer Research UK and the University of Manchester will lead a consortium of academic and pharma partners to run this ground-breaking trial to learn whether existing approved cancer drugs that target key genetic changes in cancer cells could also benefit patients with rare cancer types that the drug isn’t currently licensed to treat. Any treatment shown to benefit patients on the trial could be fast-tracked towards approval on the NHS!

Rosie Lovett

A changing landscape; exploring drug repurposing’s potential for rare diseases

Over the last nine years, our Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases Conference has grown from a small academic conference to a large event spanning the whole rare disease repurposing community. During that time, there has been a shift. Repurposing has become more common and more widely talked about, although many of the structural challenges still remain.

In his opening talk, Rick will review the challenges and opportunities of drug repurposing, highlight some of the changes he has observed since joining the charity in 2015 and explore the hopeful signs for the future.

Joanna Davidge

Panel discussion: Translating research into treatments

Identifying a repurposing candidate is one thing, but finding a way to take that candidate through the development process and deliver it to patients who need it is a whole new challenge.

Successful translation requires a clear plan for development, early input from regulators, access to development expertise beyond the usual scientific knowledge and a good dollop of funding.

In this panel, we bring together experts from the Medicines & Healthcare products
Regulatory Agency (MHRA), LifeArc, REMEDI4ALL and NHS England to discuss the different approaches needed for successful translation and answer your questions directly.

Daniel O'Connor

Ground-breaking repurposing research

You don’t want to miss this unique rare repurposing story!

EspeRare and Pierre Fabre Group joined forces in 2020 for the XLHED project to develop a treatment for X-Linked Hypohidrotic Ectodermal dysplasia (XLHED). A drug is being repurposed to treat patients suspected of ED in-utero before the baby is born. This life-changing drug has been supported and funded through a unique model of philanthropic funding to drive the project forward.

Attend #DrugRepo22 to learn how ED patient groups are being involved in the project so that it’s conducted in a meaningful way for the XLHED community!

Joanna Davidge

Rare is fundamental: AKU and mosquito research

Recognising the similarities between rare and common conditions is crucial for both scientific advancement and the adoption of rare disease research. If diseases share similar underlying mechanisms, then they are likely to benefit from similar treatments. For pharmaceutical companies, rare diseases that are linked to common conditions can open a door to a larger market and provide the investment desperately needed for rare disease research.

Join Professor Lakshminarayan “Ranga” Ranganath and Dr. Álvaro Acosta-Serrano at #DrugRepo22 as they discuss how research into the rare disease, Alkaptonuria (Black Bone Disease), has led to a collaboration where the AKU-approved drug Nitisinone is being repurposed again to treat a wider, more common healthcare challenge (Malaria) in lower socio-economic countries.

Dr. Álvaro Acosta-Serrano’s research team at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) is leading this study on reducing the mosquito population with nitisinone, which you can learn more about here!

Joanna Davidge

Drug Repurposing: The patient experience

Understanding a rare disease goes beyond the science. It is extremely easy to get bogged down in the science of a drug and forget about the patient experience of those who are relying on your research. A patient’s drug regimen is the most promising gateway back to a normal life. By utilising drug repurposing and a collaborative approach, the pharmaceutical industry is giving hope to rare patients who were previously overlooked due to low patient population numbers and a high cost of drug development.
Attend #DrugRepo22 to hear from those who are taking a repurposed drug to gain the patient perspective. Learn the decisions made, the concerns addressed and how a repurposed drug improved their quality of life.

Patient group involvement in drug repurposing projects

Rare disease patient groups have more than earned their seat at the table.

Involving patients from the point of drug conception may prevent treatments from being developed without the patients’ needs and wants in mind. Patients and patient advocacy groups are the true experts in their condition. They understand the patient experience and can shed light on what it’s like to live with the condition. Not involving patients in the research and development process devalues their expertise and hinders the effectiveness of a treatment. To effectively develop, manufacture and sell a treatment to a population, the voice of the patient is critical.

Register for #DrugRepo22 to discover the role patient groups can play in the drug repurposing process. Learn how patient groups can ensure that a repurposed drug is created and delivered in a way that best suits their patient community.

Still haven’t claimed that ticket to #DrugRepo22?