The DNDi Model

Over a decade ago, the R&D landscape for neglected diseases began to evolve significantly. New R&D initiatives have been launched by a broad range of actors, including academic groups, pharmaceutical companies, governments from emerging economies, and others. One of the results of this evolution was the not-for-profit product development partnerships (PDPs).

Given its virtual model of R&D, DNDi implements its pharmaceutical R&D programmes in collaboration with public and private partners from around world and prioritizes its efforts based on the most urgent treatment needs of the targeted patient populations.

This model enables development costs to be kept under control while providing high flexibility, but requires solid collaboration agreements with the main actors of the biomedical sector.



To mark its 10 year anniversary, DNDi issued a report that explores the lessons learned from a decade of research and development (R&D) of new treatments for neglected diseases via a cost-effective, innovative, not-for-profit drug development model.

DNDi Model PaperAn Innovative Approach to R&D for Neglected Patients:
Ten Years of Experience and Lessons Learned by DNDi

This report provides elements to stimulate current discussions on the way forward for sustainable mechanisms to provide health tools for developing countries.

Read the Report: English | Deutsch | Español | Português

Facts & Figures





Key Points about the Model

Four Pillars of an Alternative R&D Model designed to address unmet patients’ needs

  1. Patient-centricity of R&D process
  2. Open access to knowledge and patient access to treatments
  3. Financial and scientific independence
  4. Building and sustaining solid alliances with public and private partners, including in endemic countries

Key components for success

  1. Put the specific needs of patients in developing countries upfront, at the start of the innovation process;
  2. Break the link between the cost of R&D and the price of products;
  3. Ensure that the fruits of innovation are accessible and affordable;
  4. Integrate global health R&D monitoring, coordination, and financing;
  5. Strengthen and harmonize regulatory capacities in endemic regions to facilitate implementation of new health technologies.

DNDi’s cost of development ranges from EUR 6-20 million for an improved treatment, and EUR 30-40 million for a new chemical entity. However, the usual attrition in the field of R&D for infectious diseases, and the inherent risk of failure, should be taken into account, bringing the cost range of an improved treatment to EUR 10-40 million, and EUR 100-150 million for a new chemical entity.




Dr Manica BalasegaramDr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director, Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign
What can we learn from the DNDi model at 10 years?
“DNDi is not only an example of a successful PDP; it is also an experiment in conducting R&D with a very different paradigm – innovation in innovation. This new model was desperately needed in order to find solutions for diseases that were neglected by the ‘market’ – thus leading to a fatal imbalance of R&D output to disease burden and needs.”

Read more…