It all starts in the compound library
DNDi invests in bringing all-new treatments through the research and development (R&D) pipeline – both by repurposing or modifying drugs from other therapeutic areas and by identifying and developing entirely new chemical entities.
We work with partners around the world:
- screening hundreds of thousands of compounds every year
- evaluating promising ‘leads’, and
- optimizing ‘leads’ into promising drug candidates
DNDi accesses compounds either free of charge, through collaborations with pharmaceutical companies, private and public research institutions, and product development partnerships, or by purchasing them from chemical vendors.
We rely on high-throughput screening to speed up the evaluation of these compound collections and select the most promising sets of molecules for screening. While most compound collections screened to date originate from chemical synthesis, DNDi has recently expanded its sourcing to natural products.
Since its establishment, DNDi has screened approximately:
- 2.5 million compounds for activity against Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi parasites in pursuit of new treatments for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease
- 1.5 million compounds for activity against Trypanosoma brucei in pursuit of new treatments for sleeping sickness
- 26% of compounds screened in 2019 were accessed free-of-charge through partnerships, including the NTD Drug Discovery Booster.
Open and collaborative drug discovery
DNDi is committed to exploring the potential contributions of open and collaborative science, in a bid to be accountable for our research working in the public interest. Science works through sharing and collaborating, and doing so can notably attract additional world-class researchers to a neglected field, enabling better results, faster and cheaper by reducing duplication.
Lead optimization consortia
We have established four consortia of research institutions that work on hit-to-lead and lead optimization activities. These act as virtual teams with access to global expertise in medicinal chemistry, as well as the compound collections of pharmaceutical and chemical companies and commercial vendors.
Lead optimization consortia play a critical role in DNDi’s efforts to bridge global research capacity to address the needs of neglected patients, and support drug discovery activities in disease-endemic regions. These consortia and similar collaborations with academic and pharmaceutical partners have so far delivered drug candidates for Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, and river blindness.
Established in 2013, Lead Optimization Latin America activities focus identifying and developing new promising compounds for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Partners currently include University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and University of São Paulo (USP).
Partners in Australia have been working together with DNDi since 2006 on screening, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization activities for sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Partners currently include Epichem, CDCO – Monash University, Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffith University, London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, LMPH (University of Antwerp), and TCG Life Sciences.
Working in partnership since 2007, Lead Optimization US initially focused on sleeping sickness and now seeks ‘hits’ and leads for visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Partners currently include GSK, DDU – University of Dundee, Northeastern University, LMPH – University of Antwerp, and TCG Life Sciences.
Established in 2019, Lead Optimization Consortium in India aims to uncover potential new treatments for neglected diseases endemic to the country, with initial activities focused on discovery and optimization of new pre-clinical drug candidates for leishmaniasis. Partners currently include the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar and the Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy & Technology Management at the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies.
Our drug discovery projects
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