Numedii discovers repurposed antidepressants have potential to treat small cell lung cancer

Ted Driscoll

Numedii_logoCongratulations to our portfolio company NuMedii for a publication today in Cancer Discovery, which discusses the use of its technology by Stanford researchers to identify an antidepressant as a potential treatment for small cell lung cancer.

NuMedii is a pioneer in the future of pharmacology. As medicine becomes more personalized, every individual will get a custom treatment matched to their genetic and proteomic makeup and pathways. The old way of developing general purpose drugs for the whole population is simply not going to work. The complexity of each individual’s unique combination of pathways means the right treatment will often have to be computed for each individual.

NuMedii is pioneering this computational approach to matching compounds to the pathways they need to block. At first, it may be used to identified unexpected connections between shelved drugs and unrelated general diseases. But NuMedii’s analytical techniques will grow into finding the right unique treatment for each individual’s makeup, because soon everyone will have been sequenced and the data will be available for computation.

NuMedii and its founder, Prof. Atul Butte, deserve many kudos for pioneering this approach, and finding links between an antidepressant and a tough variety of cancer, or between an antiseizure drug and ulcerative colitis. It’s the necessary first step toward personalizing treatments of the causal pathways that are truly causing disease.