Opinion article |

Immediate Drug Development Projects for Five Targeted Drugs in Three Neglected Diseases

DND Working Group Expert Paper


Alongside developing a long-term strategy, the DND group recognized the necessity to address immediately medical needs in target diseases. Several urgent responses were needed to address the current crisis of treatment deficits for specific infectious diseases.

It was realised that opportunities to pursue solutions existed. In building the ‘Immediate Drug Development Projects’, and out of necessity, options were restricted to available capacities. Projects were identified through the combined analyses conducted by the DND group of disease needs, and opportunities in terms of both drugs and partnership matches. Whilst these projects will help filling gaps in the short to medium term, the need for building a pipeline for longer-term projects with newer drug candidates was recognized A watching brief is being compiled to that effect.

The Immediate Drug Development Projects are to serve two purposes. They are (i) well defined and potentially short-term answers to existing needs, and (ii) serve as pilots to learn and test the viability of a pro-active and targeted management strategy for the DNDi concept. Building on the experience of these programmes, the DNDi will develop specific ‘drug development portfolios’ for these and other neglected diseases. These projects are summarised below.