Disease, Disorders, Medical Disciplines

Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, North America Inc.

aka DNDi North America

New York, NY


The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), North America supports DNDi's global vision and mission to develop new drugs, or new formulations of existing drugs for patients suffering from the most communicable diseases. Acting in the public interest, DNDi bridges existing R&D gaps in essential drugs for these diseases by initiating and coordinating drug R&D projects in collaboration with the international research community, the public sector, the pharmaceutical industry, and other partners.

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Rachel M Cohen

Main Address

40 Rector Street 16th Floor

New York, NY 10006 USA


Neglected diseases, Chagas, Trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, malaria, sleeping sickness, drugs, mycetoma, hepatitis C, antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial resistance





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Diseases, Disorders, Medical Disciplines N.E.C. (G99)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (H05)

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Programs + Results

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT)


Chagas Disease

Helminth Infections

Paediatric HIV


Hepatitis C

Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP)

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

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What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

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DNDi's primary objective is to deliver 16 to 18 new treatments developed with a total investment of EUR 650 million by 2023 and to continue establishing a strong R&D portfolio that addresses neglected patients' needs. In doing this, DNDi wishes to use and strengthen capacities in disease-endemic countries via project implementation and to raise awareness about the need to develop new drugs for neglected diseases and advocate for increased public responsibility.

In the Business Plan for the period 2015-2023, DNDi maintains its commitment to develop treatments for African sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease as well as filarial diseases and paediatric HIV. Having transferred its malaria activities to the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), DNDi is also undertaking new research and development (R&D) projects for hepatitis C and mycetoma, two very different diseases that share one key challenge: the existing system of biomedical innovation has failed to deliver safe, effective, quality products that are affordable to poor populations.

The Business Plan 2015-2023 was elaborated through a 24-month process and in-depth consultation with DNDi's founding partners, governments, key stakeholders, and experts in global health research. It was approved by the Board of Directors in June 2015. The new plan emphasizes DNDi's commitment to addressing the needs of neglected patients, while allowing for more flexibility to extend the scope of diseases to address current and future unmet and/or urgent patient needs as they arise. A range of operating and support models has been designed to ensure DNDi's engagement is tailored and appropriate to the need.

DNDi has taken concrete steps to invest in the expansion and development of its Regional Offices, particularly those in neglected-disease-endemic regions. To ensure its activities are carried out in close proximity to the patients who DNDi was created to serve, regional R&D projects, networks of excellence, capacity strengthening programmes, access activities, and advocacy will be taken up increasingly by Regional Offices.

DNDi's budget nearly tripled over the past 8 years. To reach the targeted objectives of the organization, the projected growth for the next Business Plan period will stabilize, reaching approximately 30% over a period of nine years. The dynamic portfolio approach will lead to a balance of investment between the initial disease areas and new programs. Overhead costs will remain low, at approximately 12.5%, other social missions – including advocacy and capacity strengthening – will remain stable at 15%, with the remaining 72.5% for R&D activities.

Upon analyzing its model – including accounting for the attrition rate for drug discovery, development in the field of infectious diseases, and the inherent risk of failure – DNDi estimates the development cost range to be EUR 10-40 million for an improved treatment and EUR 100-150 million for a new chemical entity. These estimations do not include the in-kind contributions from DNDi's many partners.
The 2023 vision relies on an estimated budget of EUR 440 million for the 2015- 2023 period, including EUR 340 million associated to the current portfolio of diseases and activities (with 'other social missions') and EUR 100 million for new opportunities.
As of September 2015, EUR 140 million of the EUR 440 million needed to develop 10-12 additional treatments by 2023 has already been secured. DNDi aims to continue raising unrestricted or portfolio-wide funding and to maintain a balance between public and private sources, with no single donor contributing more than a quarter of the overall budget. It is expected that emerging economies and innovative funding mechanisms will play an increasingly important role in the donor landscape.

The majority of human resources growth will occur in the Regional Offices (80% of new staff), to reach over 210 staff (up from currently 150) by 2023. The ratio of DNDi staff and individuals at other institutions working on DNDi projects will remain stable at approximately 1:4. Building on its 'virtual model', DNDi remains committed to coordination and facilitation roles with partners and stakeholders.

None of the organization's work is possible without the passionate, motivated, and diverse people, spanning public, private, and non-governmental sectors. The people and partners behind the success of DNDi worldwide embody the organization's values in its patient-driven approach, best science and quality for the most neglected, commitment to building partnerships, pragmatism and responsibility, and spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Every four to five years, DNDi reviews and updates its Business Plan in order to ensure the organization stays attuned to current and emerging patient needs. Since its inception, DNDi has advocated for public leadership and a sustainable, publicly-driven framework for essential health R&D. In 2010, a Business Plan review for the period of 2011 to 2018 was conducted, at which time two new disease areas were added to DNDi's portfolio (filarial diseases and paediatric HIV), with a renewed commitment to its core disease activities (human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease).

A plan was put in place to complete and transfer malaria activities to partners. The plan also aimed to substantially increase the role of Regional Offices and better define DNDi's engagement in facilitating patient access to treatments.

In 2014, DNDi initiated the process for its next Business Plan to cover the period from 2015 to 2023. Through an extensive consultation exercise involving founding partners and key stakeholders worldwide, DNDi analyzed the R&D landscape, assessed new and emerging R&D gaps, explored the involvement of other players in addressing these needs, and identified future trends. As a result, an adapted decision-making process has been implemented to ensure that the organization remains responsive to neglected patients' needs and the appropriate models were designed.

DNDi has over 30 projects spanning 6 disease areas in their pipeline, including 15 entirely new chemical entities. DNDi works closely with roughly 600 individuals across 130 institutional partnerships, the majority of which are in disease-endemic countries. More than half of the organization's team of 150 staff are in disease endemic countries. As of September 2015, DNDi has raised EUR 350 million equally from public and private sources. Since 2003, DNDi has delivered six new treatments:

- Malaria: 2 two (2) fixed-dose combination (FDC) treatments: artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ FDC) and artesunatemefloquine (ASMQ FDC).
- Human African trypanosomiasis: nifurtimox-eflornithine combination therapy (NECT)
- Visceral leishmaniasis in Africa: sodium stibogluconate and paromomycin combination therapy (SSG&PM)
- Visceral leishmaniasis in Asia: a set of therapies, including drug combinations with paromomycin and miltefosine, and liposomal amphotericin B
- Chagas disease: a paediatric dosage form of benznidazole

DNDi has yet to develop a new chemical entity (NCE). To this date, DNDi has successfully relied on two techniques to develop NCEs
- Repurposing compounds for new indications of existing treatments in other diseases (therapeutic switching).
- New combinations of formulations of existing drugs that are better adapted to field conditions and patient needs (paediatric dosage forms, long-acting forms, new route of administration, fixed-dose combinations, co-packaging, or co-administration).

External Reviews

Awards & Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2013


Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, North America Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?