IMIM and DCEXS-UPF: "A new computational method for exploring the reuse of drugs"

IMIM and DCEXS-UPF: "A new computational method for exploring the reuse of drugs"

News from IMIM and DCEXS-UPF

Researchers led by Emre Guney from the GRIB –a joint programme of UPF and IMIM- have developed a new computational method, called Proximal pathway Enrichment Analysis (PxEA) and presented in the journal Pharmaceuticals, to reuse drugs that target biological pathways common to more than one disease. This method assesses whether the proteins on which the drug acts are involved only in one specific disease or share common pathways for different diseases. For example, "PxEA reveals that most drugs currently used for autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis are not targeted specifically at the proteins that cause the disease", explains Guney. "The targets of these drugs are often common immune response proteins and inflammation-related pathways that are involved in several autoimmune diseases", he continues.

PxEA can be also applied to reuse drugs that can target shared mechanisms involved in comorbid diseases (occurring simultaneously in one patient). This is the case of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, both highly prevalent in an increasingly ageing society. Due to the interference of various biological processes shared between these two diseases, they are commonly found in the same patient, and recent efforts aim to reuse antidiabetic agents to prevent insulin resistance in Alzheimer's disease. - Carlos Sierra / PRBB

Reference article:
Aguirre-Plans J, Piñero J, Menche J, Sanz F, Furlong LI, Schmidt HHHW, Oliva B, Guney E. Proximal Pathway Enrichment Analysis for Targeting Comorbid Diseases via Network Endopharmacology. Pharmaceuticals. June, 2018. DOI:

More information:
IMIM and DCEXS-UPF websites