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Clinical Minds Podcast: What if a Treatment Already Exists?

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Episode Transcript: What if a Treatment Already Exists?

Medical students endure rigorous training, but tack on the onset of a rare, debilitating illness, and suddenly life is no longer about getting good grades—it becomes a desperate race for survival.

Dr. David Fajgenbaum, who contracted idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease while in medical school, is one of the estimated 25 to 30 million Americans suffering from rare diseases. The cost of curating mass research efforts to address such uncommon diseases is immense, and cures continue to be elusive. Many affected individuals seek treatment from clinical trial services, but with the toll on human life on the rise, there’s no time to wait.

That’s where drug repurposing comes in. Drug repurposing helps modify existing drugs for new therapeutic purposes. It’s faster and cheaper than developing completely new treatments, and—as Dr. Fajgenbaum’s extensive research and harrowing but hopeful personal experience shows—it works.

How far can we go with drug repurposing? What are its misconceptions, and how can it potentially be the key to stopping COVID-19? Join us at Clinical Minds, a podcast about clinical development. Our goal is to share what’s happening in the world of clinical research today, the technology and ideas that are transforming it, and why this matters for patients, which is all of us.

In our fifth episode "What if a Treatment Already Exists?" we talk with Dr. David Fajgenbaum, an accomplished physician, scientist, and author of the national bestselling memoir Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action. We learn about what drug repurposing is, how it saved his life, and how it can be adapted to address the challenges of a pandemic.

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Paul Oliver

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