Dengue fever, a climate-sensitive disease, is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in endemic countries, but drugs to prevent and treat the disease are lacking. The incidence of dengue fever has increased dramatically over recent decades, and treatments that prevent dengue infection from progressing to severe disease – known as dengue haemorrhagic fever – are urgently needed. Together with our partners, DNDi is prioritizing drug development, with a focus on pregnant women, young children, and people with comorbidities who are more likely to suffer greater morbidity and mortality.

DNDi’s short-term strategy is to work with partners to repurpose existing direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) and host-directed therapies capable of inhibiting the inflammatory response characteristic of severe disease. Over the medium-term, DNDi is working with partners to develop novel antivirals, with four candidates showing in vivo efficacy in preliminary testing.

Dengue Alliance: a global partnership to develop affordable and accessible treatments for dengue

This project is led by the Dengue Alliance, a global partnership of institutions from dengue-endemic countries launched in 2022 to develop affordable and accessible treatments for dengue.

Project updates


Dengue Alliance partners continued in vitro evaluation of existing direct-acting antiviral (DAA) compounds, with prioritized compounds advancing in in vivo testing in India and Brazil. Partners also initiated pre-clinical evaluation of existing host-directed therapies (HDTs), including a compound identified by BenevolentAI’s artificial intelligence-driven drug discovery platform that has been found to inhibit increases in endothelial cell permeability in vitro. With the nomination of DAA and HDT candidates expected in 2024, DNDi and partners also advanced preparations for clinical studies, including finalization of study endpoints, selection of study population, and discussions with potential industry partners on integrating novel DAAs and HDTs alongside repurposing candidates.


Three existing direct-acting antiviral (DAA) compounds – GS-441525, niclosamide, and nelfinavir – have been evaluated for their ability to inhibit the dengue virus. These compounds have advanced to in vivo efficacy studies after initial pharmacokinetic evaluations. Discussions are ongoing to determine the best host-directed therapies and methods for evaluating them, considering the diverse range of modes of action. A clinical synopsis for Phase II studies is under development and will be finalized by the third quarter of 2023.