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Smart Drugs for Complex Diseases

The focus in drug development until recently has been on a single target associated with a particular pathological mechanism. However, it has been found that low-affinity, multi-target drugs have a lower prevalence and a reduced range of side effects than high-affinity, single-target drugs while at the same time having greater efficacy. This has led to the development of single compound multifunctional drugs that simultaneously target a number of different pathological mechanisms that are associated with complex diseases such as heart failure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, major depression and Alzheimer's disease. It has now been found that an increasing number of repurposed drugs derive their therapeutic benefit by interacting with multiple targets. These drugs offer a new approach in the development of treatments for complex diseases.

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