DNDi is searching for chemical compounds with activity against Leishmania parasites. High-throughput screening of diverse compound libraries from pharmaceutical companies, biotechs, and commercial vendors have been completed against Leishmania donovani, in collaboration with screening partners University of Dundee and Institut Pasteur Korea. 

Several visceral leishmaniasis active series were identified from GlaxoSmith-Kline’s global compound library screen and progressed through a hit-to-lead programme by DNDi in 2014 in collaboration with the University of Dundee. Furthermore, a screening collaboration agreement with the university signed in December 2014 aims to screen approximately 500,000 compounds against visceral leishmaniasis.

In parallel to its ongoing bilateral collaborations for screening and lead optimization, in 2015 DNDi launched the NTD Drug Discovery Booster with several major pharmaceutical companies.

Project updates


DNDi has identified a variety of novel hit series via the screening of new compound libraries to continuously feed the early discovery pipeline for leishmaniasis. Those new starting points originate from both natural product and synthetic compound collections, either accessed through partnerships, acquired via purchase, or obtained as in-kind contributions to DNDi


Several new starting points are currently being followed up in hit profiling, annotation, and hit-to-lead programmes. The screening effort will continue, with the aim of delivering further drug candidates to mitigate the risks of attrition and increase the chance of developing a new drug.


More than 20 novel series were identified in 2017 and are now being progressed.