The challenge relates to a concept of "drug repurposing" or "drug repositioning". These are the keywords that could be used while scouting startups. From a business perspective, for a drug repurposing to make sense, it needs to preferably meet to conditions: patentability of a novel indication and no generic competition when the medicinal product gets to the market (otherwise it faces a competition of drugs with exactly the same active ingredient that are not authorized to be used in the novel indication but sold for a fraction of the price of the new product and potentially used off-label).
An illustrative example of potentially successful drug repurposing effort:
A company X had been developing a molecule MCD-2289 for an indication Y. The drug candidate proved to be safe yet ineffective in clinical trials. The company halted the MDC-2289 program and decided not to further maintain a patent portfolio protecting the subject matter (MDC-2289 and structurally related compounds).
A team of scientist decided to test MCD-2289 in in vitro and animal models of disease Z. In the prior art, there is nothing that would suggest such activity of MCD-2289 or similar molecules. A novel indication of MCD-2289 seems to be patentable. MCD-2289 based medicinal products have never previously been authorized in any country so there is no risk of competing with generic drugs with this active substance prescribed off-label.
Want to solve the challenge? Apply here: THE FORM