As work to deliver a new clinical candidate can take at least two to four years, it is essential that drug discovery efforts to prepare for the next pandemic are started early. DNDi is working to contribute to pandemic preparedness through longer-term initiatives to discover novel antiviral drug candidates for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, future generations of coronavirus, and potentially also other pandemic-prone viruses.

Project updates


Together with partners in India and Brazil, DNDi is advancing two projects supporting the discovery of novel antivirals. In 2022, researchers at the University of São Paulo made progress exploring a class of novel SARS-CoV-2 PLpro inhibitors that are now in the hit-to-lead phase. In a second project, DNDi is exploring salicylamides as potential broad-spectrum antivirals. A total 90 of compounds with significantly improved pharmacokinetic profiles have been synthesized, and the project is now proceeding to an in vivo proof of concept study.


Together with our partners, DNDi initiated three projects targeting important viral targets or uptake mechanisms. Medicinal chemistry efforts are ongoing to design, synthesise, and test novel compounds within the DNDi network in Europe, India, South Korea, and Brazil. In total, more than 100 novel compounds have been synthesized and tested in the DNDi screening platform. 


Together with our partners, DNDi initiated a number of discovery projects at various stages of the drug discovery process, and the first sets of newly synthesized compounds entered evaluation in test cascades. In addition, together with our partner Institut Pasteur in Korea, DNDi began testing more than 100 compounds with antimicrobial activity in order to expand the pipeline of novel antivirals.