Antiprotozoal activity profiling of approved drugs: a starting point toward drug repositioning
HAT – sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, malaria | 2013-2014
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel
Neglected tropical diseases affect the poorest people in developing countries and cause significant morbidity and mortality. There are few drugs available for the treatment of these diseases; new and better drugs are needed. Drug development is a lengthy and expensive process. In this study we were looking for low-hanging fruit and followed a drug repurposing strategy. A set of 100 registered drugs with drug repositioning potential for neglected tropical diseases was assembled. The compound collection was systematically screened against protozoan parasites, T. b. rhodesiense, L. donovani, T. cruzi and P. falciparum. Several drugs and drug classes exhibited in vitro activity and selectivity against one of the protozoan parasites. The results offer opportunities for drug repurposing but the identified compound classes could also be a starting point for new drug discovery projects.