DDREL: From drug-drug relationships to drug repurposing

M. Allahgholi, H. Rahmani*, D. Javdani, Z. Sadeghi-Adl, A. Bender, D. Modos, G. Weiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Analyzing the relationships among various drugs is an essential issue in the field of computational biology. Different kinds of informative knowledge, such as drug repurposing, can be extracted from drug-drug relationships. Scientific literature represents a rich source for the retrieval of knowledge about the relationships between biological concepts, mainly drug-drug, disease-disease, and drug-disease relationships. In this paper, we propose DDREL as a general-purpose method that applies deep learning on scientific literature to automatically extract the graph of syntactic and semantic relationships among drugs. DDREL remarkably outperforms the existing human drug network method and a random network respected to average similarities of drugs' anatomical therapeutic chemical (ATC) codes. DDREL is able to shed light on the existing deficiency of the ATC codes in various drug groups. From the DDREL graph, the history of drug discovery became visible. In addition, drugs that had repurposing score 1 (diflunisal, pargyline, fenofibrate, guanfacine, chlorzoxazone, doxazosin, oxymetholone, azathioprine, drotaverine, demecarium, omifensine, yohimbine) were already used in additional indication. The proposed DDREL method justifies the predictive power of textual data in PubMed abstracts. DDREL shows that such data can be used to 1- Predict repurposing drugs with high accuracy, and 2- Reveal existing deficiencies of the ATC codes in various drug groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-237
Number of pages17
JournalIntelligent Data Analysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Drug-drug relationships
  • repurposing drugs
  • deep learning
  • text mining
  • word embedding

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