DNDi’s filarial disease programme actively identifies potential new drug candidates for onchocerciasis by evaluating registered drugs, as well as pre-clinical and clinical drug candidates. DNDi also investigates diverse chemical compounds against filarial worms.

Project updates


With a portfolio of four potential treatments for people with onchocerciasis, DNDi has now ended its active screening programme for filaria. Some 530 compounds have been screened in partnership with Salvensis, Merck Sharp & Dohme, University of North Carolina, AbbVie, and others. In 2019, DNDi announced the launch of a large public-private partnership called the Helminth Elimination Platform (HELP), a new multidisciplinary consortium working to identify new treatments against ‘nematode’ worms, including onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, hookworm, and whipworm.


In 2017, well-characterized libraries of compounds that had been extensively optimized for other indications were provided to DNDby several pharmaceutical companies for screening. Early screening of 530 compounds has been completed with Salvensis, Merck Sharp & and Dohme, University of Carolina, AbbVie, and others. From this initial screen, a full lead optimization programme has been undertaken in collaboration with Celgene with further exploration of identified hits (505 compounds). This effort will continue through 2018, with the aim of delivering a pre-clinical candidate for filarial diseases.