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If only brain tumour research could be funded in the same way as leukaemia and other cancers

New MRC scheme opens deprioritised pharmaceutical compounds for research

The world’s largest collection of deprioritised pharmaceutical compounds are being made available to academic researchers through a partnership between the Medical Research Council and seven global pharmaceutical companies. This scheme sees 68 compounds released for research and has the potential to develop a new range of treatments in diseases where options are limited, such as brain tumours. We are delighted such a scheme has been produced.


Deprioritised pharmaceutical compounds are bonds of chemicals or drugs that have undergone some degree of development but stalled in their early development because they were not sufficiently effective against the disease they were produced to fight. The compounds can however be ‘repurposed’ into research and trials for other diseases. In time they may produce a series of treatments that can fight diseases and save thousands of lives. Many of the compounds released in this current scheme have been tested on humans and were developed initially to tackle a wide range of diseases including cancers. At least 24 are known to be able to cross into the brain, which makes them potentially ground-breaking for to researcher into brain tumours.

Repurposing of drugs is a vital route for research into brain tumours. This scheme is excellent news for the development of research for brain tumours and we hope that more companies, and more compounds, will be added as the scheme progresses.

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