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

Launched in 2022, the Dengue Alliance is a global partnership led by institutions from dengue-endemic countries that aims to develop affordable and accessible treatments for dengue. The Alliance is comprised of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand; Ministry of Health, Malaysia; Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Brazil; Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), India; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil; and DNDi.

Project updates


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.