The traditional de novo drug discovery is known as a high cost and high risk process. In response, recently there is an increasing interest in discovering new indications for known drugs-a process known as drug repositioning-using computational methods. In this study, we present a new systematic approach for identifying potential new indications of an existing drug through its relation to similar drugs. Different from the previous similarity-based methods, we adapted a novel bipartite-graph based method when considering common drug targets and their interaction information. Furthermore, we added drug structure information into the calculation of drug pairwise similarity. In cross-validation experiments, our method achieved a sensitivity of 0.77 and specificity of 0.92 (AUC = 0.888) and compared favorably to the state of the art. When compared with a control group of drug uses, our drug repositioning results were found to be significantly enriched in both the biomedical literature and clinical trials. Our results indicate that combining chemical structure and drug target information results in better prediction performance and that the proposed approach successfully captures the implicit information between drug targets.
Keywords: bipartite graph; chemical similarity; drug repositioning; target interaction; target similarity.