DNDi’s portfolio has grown from its initial four projects in 2003 to 33 in 2016. The key focus is on successfully managing and progressing ongoing R&D projects to deliver new treatments to neglected patients in the shortest possible time. DNDi continues to substantially increase the number of clinical research projects and has developed an integrated strategy for drug discovery, which includes risk management strategies to deal with attrition (failure) rates inherent in drug discovery and development.
Early on in the initiative’s existence, a thorough and global analysis of scientific portfolios and R&D opportunities for DNDi’s priority diseases were carried out, along with an assessment of the urgency to respond to existing R&D gaps and unmet patient needs. Based on that analysis, which determined medical needs and scientific opportunities, a two-pronged – short-term and long- term – R&D strategy was adopted. The current strategy incorporates short-, medium- and long- term projects in order to address neglected patients’ needs as effectively as possible. These approaches include areas such as compound repurposing and the potentialities of existing drugs.
Medium-/ Long- term Projects
- New treatments (involving new chemical entities, NCEs) developed from novel compounds identified through screening, lead optimization, or licensing. These drugs must meet target product profiles (TPPs) and may be used in monotherapy or as part of combination therapies when appropriate.
- New treatments developed from compounds with known anti-microbial/anti-parasitic activities aiming to maintain or improve efficacy and tolerability.
Short-/ Medium- term Projects
- Geographical extension of existing treatments, including completion or regulatory dossiers in new countries.
- Combinations or new formulations of existing drugs that are better adapted to field conditions and patient needs (paediatric dosage forms, long-acting forms, new routes of administration, fixed-dose combinations, co-packaging, or co-administration);
- Compound repurposing to find new indications for existing treatments in other diseases (therapeutic switching).