Despite exponentially increased investment, the total numbers of approved drugs by US FDA have been about the same each year during the past 50 years . Market capitalization of 9 top-tier pharmaceutical companies from 2001 to 2009 had accumulative loss of $626 billion . Therefore, identifying and successfully developing new drug candidates while trying to contain the costs might be the key to make pharmaceutical industry profitable and novel drugs available for waiting patients. New ideas, new sources, and new data might help the pharmaceutical industry to speed up the process of identifying new drug candidates. Based on this idea, we studied the molecular mechanisms of anti-cancer effect of Total Glucosides of Paeony (TGP), a Chinese State Food and Drug Administration approved rheumatoid arthritis modifying drug, in a non-small cell lung cancer. EGF receptor family with their most prominent members EGFR and HER-2 represents validated targets for anti-cancer therapy. Anti- EGFR and HER-2 MoAbs .(cetuximab, panitumumab, and trastuzumab) and TKIs (gefitinib, erlotinib, and lapatinib) have now been approved for the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, advanced NSCLC, as well as pancreatic and breast cancer. However, the benefits of costly TKIs and Anti-EGFRs MoAbs to most cancer patients are very limited due to complications of drug-resistant and side effects. The median survival rates increase only for a few months compared to patients treated with conventional therapies. Currently, the cost of developing an approvable drug is frequently cited as about $1 billion across 15 years in the US, although recent estimates have ranged as high as $4 billion to $12 billion per drug, depending upon how many failures are included in the estimate. Therefore, it will be a daunting job to develop novel and cheaper TKIs. In a recently published study, it was discovered that among 656 US FDA approved drugs tested, each drug hits more than 7 targets in the 73 total targets tested . Many drugs are less effective to the previously known targets compared to off- targets based on the affinity or biological data. This published report provides valuable guidance in efforts to repurpose existing drugs, especially thousands of established herb-based medicines, for new diseases and conditions. Our studies of TGP are a good proof of this principle by discovering TGP worked as a potential TKI.
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Last date updated on June, 2014