Miami, Florida – David Fajgenbaum, co-founder of Every Cure, delivered a presentation at the Elevate Prize’s Make Good Famous Summit, sharing his journey with a deadly illness and his mission to repurpose existing drugs for the treatment of various diseases.
At the Make Good Famous Summit in Miami, David Fajgenbaum, co-founder of Every Cure, shared his battle with idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease. At 25 years old, Fajgenbaum faced a near-death experience, with his doctors stating that all treatment options had been exhausted.
Determined to survive, Fajgenbaum embarked on a mission to find an existing drug that could be repurposed for his condition. Through research and analyzing his own blood samples, he identified sirolimus, a long-existing drug that had never been used for Castleman disease. Fajgenbaum tested sirolimus on himself and experienced a remarkable turnaround. After surviving multiple life-threatening situations, he has now been in remission for over nine years.
During his remission, Fajgenbaum and his team at Every Cure identified and advanced 16 repurposed drugs for diseases they were not initially intended to treat. The organization’s efforts have saved numerous lives, including Michael, a patient diagnosed with metastatic angiosarcoma. Through repurposing a drug identified three years earlier, Michael has been in remission for seven years, surpassing his three-month prognosis.
However, Fajgenbaum highlighted the pressing need for further advancements. Currently, approximately 9,000 diseases lack an FDA-approved therapy, while there are 3,000 FDA-approved drugs available. Repurposing drugs offers a faster and cost-effective solution, utilizing existing data to identify potential new uses.
Fajgenbaum emphasized three challenges that hinder drug repurposing. Firstly, the absence of a comprehensive database connecting drugs with potential uses creates a barrier to progress. Secondly, insufficient incentives exist for pharmaceutical companies, particularly for generic drugs and rare diseases. Finally, no single organization is responsible for ensuring drugs are fully utilized for all treatable diseases.
To address these challenges, Every Cure was launched as a nonprofit organization with the mission of utilizing every FDA-approved drug to treat every disease possible. Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, Every Cure has developed an AI-powered platform that generates scores for the likelihood of drugs being effective against various diseases. This platform aims to prioritize drugs for clinical trials and facilitate insurance coverage and accessibility for patients.
Fajgenbaum called upon the audience to join Every Cure in its mission by contributing data, funds, and partnerships. The organization’s goal is to advance 15 drugs into clinical trials within the next three years. Fajgenbaum expressed gratitude for the support received from Elevate Prize, acknowledging the work that lies ahead to integrate additional data sets and optimize the scoring system.