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Center for Translational Advancement

The Gladstone Center for Translational Advancement was created in 2017 to find unforeseen uses for existing drugs to treat unsolved diseases. Drug repurposing is a powerful approach that drastically lowers the cost and shortens the timeline of drug development. Using FDA-approved drugs, which have already passed safety tests, can help bring treatments to patients more quickly.

Headed by Senior Investigator Yadong Huang, MD, PhD, the center provides crucial resources to develop repurposed drugs that target diseases of the central nervous system, the heart, and the immune system. The center aims to accelerate the conversion of basic research findings into efficient clinical candidates and, ultimately, medical applications.

The center includes three major components:

  • Build a drug repositioning database of up to 15,000 compounds using human cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The result will be a public database that outlines how each drug affects healthy and diseased human genes.
  • Establish infrastructure to test repurposed drugs in cell culture and animal models for potency, pharmacokinetic (PK), and pharmacodynamic (PD) studies. This will be implemented along with Gladstone Senior Investigator Sheng Ding, PhD, who is also Dean of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, which has well-established drug discovery and translational platforms.
  • Promote human clinical trials of repurposed drugs, in collaboration with medical centers (like UC San Francisco) and pharmaceutical companies in the US and abroad.