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One in 10 people in America is fighting a rare disease, or a disorder that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans. Although there are more than 7,000 rare diseases that collectively affect more than 350 million people worldwide, it is not profitable for the pharmaceutical industry to develop new therapies to treat the small number of people suffering from each rare condition. Researchers at the LSU Computational Systems Biology group have developed a sophisticated and systematic way to identify existing drugs that can be repositioned to treat a rare disease or condition. They have fine-tuned a computer-assisted drug repositioning process that can save time and money in helping these patients receive effective treatment.
"Rare diseases sometimes affect such a small population that discovering treatments would not be financially feasible unless through humanitarian and governmental incentives. These conditions that are sometimes left untreated are labeled 'orphan diseases.' We developed a way to computationally find matches between rare disease protein structures and functions and existing drug interactions that can help treat patients with some of these orphan diseases," said Misagh Naderi, one of the paper's lead authors and a doctoral candidate in...
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