• Target disease: Leishmaniasis
  • Main partners (since project start): AbbVie, USA; AstraZeneca, UK; Celgene Corporation, USA;  Eisai Co., Ltd., Japan; Merck KGaA, Germany; Shionogi & Co., Ltd., Japan; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., Japan.
  • Project start: 2015
  • Funding (since project start): Department for International Development (DFID), UK; Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders; Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS), The Netherlands; Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF through KfW), Germany; Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, Japan; Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Switzerland.


Overall Objective:

  • Speed up the process and cut the cost of finding new treatments for leishmaniasis by bringing together pharmaceutical companies in a multilateral, simultaneous, and non-competitive search process


The Drug Discovery Booster was launched in 2015 to circumvent early-stage commercial barriers between pharmaceutical participants, allowing DNDi to search millions of unique compounds simultaneously in the hunt for new treatment leads.


In 2017, two new companies – AbbVie and Merck – signed on to the Drug Discovery Booster, joining Takeda, Eisai, Shionogi, AstraZeneca, and Celgene.

To date, 32 iterations of the booster have been launched around 16 distinct seed compounds. Ten hit series have been identified, four of which will enter into proof-of-concept in vivo efficacy studies by Q1 2018.

Last update: August 2018