Open drug discovery in Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2023 May 17;9(2):e12394. doi: 10.1002/trc2.12394. eCollection 2023 Apr-Jun.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) drug discovery has focused on a set of highly studied therapeutic hypotheses, with limited success. The heterogeneous nature of AD processes suggests that a more diverse, systems-integrated strategy may identify new therapeutic hypotheses. Although many target hypotheses have arisen from systems-level modeling of human disease, in practice and for many reasons, it has proven challenging to translate them into drug discovery pipelines. First, many hypotheses implicate protein targets and/or biological mechanisms that are under-studied, meaning there is a paucity of evidence to inform experimental strategies as well as high-quality reagents to perform them. Second, systems-level targets are predicted to act in concert, requiring adaptations in how we characterize new drug targets. Here we posit that the development and open distribution of high-quality experimental reagents and informatic outputs-termed target enabling packages (TEPs)-will catalyze rapid evaluation of emerging systems-integrated targets in AD by enabling parallel, independent, and unencumbered research.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; TEPs; drug development; drug targets; genomics; proteomics; systems biology.