Filarial DiseasesResearch


  • Target disease: Filarial diseases
  • Main partners (since project start): AbbVie, USA; Boehringer Ingelheim, Animal Health Business Unit (formerly Sanofi Merial), USA; Celgene Corporation, USA; GlaxoSmithKline, UK; Johnson & Johnson, USA; Medicines for Malaria Venture, Switzerland; Merck, USA; National Institute of Health, USA; National Museum of Natural History Paris (MNHN), France; Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research, UK; Novartis Centre de la Recherche Santé Animale, Switzerland; Salvensis, UK; University Hospital of Bonn, Germany; University of North Carolina, Office of Technology Development, USA.
  • Funding (since project start): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA; Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF through KfW), Germany; Brian Mercer Charitable Trust, UK.


Overall objective:

  • Identify new drug candidates, by accessing and evaluating registered drugs, pre-clinical and clinical candidates, focused sets and libraries with known anthelminthic activity from animal and human health companies


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.


In 2017, well-characterized libraries of compounds that had been extensively optimized for other indications were provided to DNDi by 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.


Last update: August 2019