Fighting diseases of poverty: Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)

Project completed

As one of the leading Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) worldwide, DNDi is acting in the public interest and to respond to patients’ needs to develop and provide access to treatments for neglected tropical diseases that primarily affect the poor and marginalised populations worldwide. DNDi’s business model is further characterized by empowerment of endemic country partners, international advocacy in support of a global framework for essential health, and delivery of health tools as public goods.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Infectious desease
Health systems strengthening
Sexually transmitted diseases incl. HIV/AIDS
01.01.2013 - 31.12.2016
CHF  8’000’000

DNDi is one of the few and most successful public private partnerships that seek to coordinate the contributions of the private, public, academic and not-for-profit sectors to address the scientific, economic, legal and political challenges that exist in developing new health technologies for the use in developing countries, and in ensuring their rapid and widespread use.


DNDi’s primary objective is to deliver 11 to 13 new treatments by 2018 for leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease, malaria, paediatric HIV, and specific helminth infections and to establish a strong R&D portfolio that addresses patients’ treatment needs and supports long term objectives. Moreover, further objectives include using and strengthening existing capacities in disease-endemic countries via project implementation and raising awareness about the need to develop new drugs for neglected diseases and advocate for increased public responsibility.

Target groups

More than 1 billion people worldwide affected by NTDs, mainly in Africa and mostly those living in remote rural areas, urban slums or conflict zones.

Medium-term outcomes

  • Outcome 1: Five treatment optimisations are developed, rationally used, and better accessed.
  • Outcome 2: Innovative treatments for HAT, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, filarial diseases and HIV-TB co-infected children are developed.
  • Outcome 3: Endemic countries capacities strengthened and technology transfer achieved.
  • Outcome 4: Awareness about the need to develop new drugs for NTDs raised internationally.
  • Results

    Results from previous phases:  

  • Three new treatments or set of treatments registered or recommended for visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.
  • Increased distribution and use of three treatments for malaria and sleeping sickness facilitated
  • An increasing number of drug candidates progressed at clinical stage.
  • Research platforms to mobilise scientists, clinicians, research and international organizations, NGOs, national control programmes, health ministries, regulatory authorities, and private-sector actors.

  • Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
    Credit area Development cooperation
    Project partners Contract partner
    Swiss Non-profit Organisation
    • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation
    • DNDi

    Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    8’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    8’000’000
    Project phases Phase 4 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase) Phase 3 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Completed)

    Phase 2 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)