Despite many advances in medical therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) over the past 20 years, long-term survival is still poor. Novel therapies which target the underlying pathology of PAH and which could be added to current vasodilatory therapies to halt disease progression and potentially reverse pulmonary vascular remodeling are highly sought after. Given the high attrition rates, substantial costs, and slow pace of new drug development, repositioning of “old” drugs is increasingly becoming an attractive path to identify novel treatment options, especially for a rare disease such as PAH.
We here summarize the limitations of current PAH therapy, the general concept of repurposing and repositioning, success stories of approved repositioned drugs in PAH as well as novel repositioned drugs that show promise in preclinical models of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and are currently tested in clinical trials. We furthermore discuss various data-driven as well as experimental approaches currently used to identify repurposed drug candidates and review challenges for the “repositioning community” with regards to funding and patent and regulatory considerations, and to illustrate opportunities for collaborative solutions for drug repositioning relevant to PAH.