At the DDU, we are working on a broad pipeline of small molecule drug discovery projects across five portfolios.


We collaborate with GSK Global Health (Tres Cantos, Spain) to develop new, much needed medicines for kinetoplastid diseases, Visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas’ disease.

This integrated partnership has been supported by the Wellcome Trust since 2011 and led to the establishment of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research in 2017. To date the partnership has delivered two candidate drugs, currently in Phase I clinical trials with DNDi.

  1. Hit to Lead
  2. Lead Op.
  3. Pre-clinical
  4. Clinical
Visceral Leishmaniasis - Fexinidazole (repurposed)
Visceral Leishmaniasis - BA05 series
Visceral Leishmaniasis - ES09 series
Chagas’ Disease - 4WAY001 series
University of Washington GSK DNDi
Chagas' Disease - Multiple Early Phenotypic Series


Our TB portfolio is supported by a close alliance with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and TB Drug Accelerator program since 2012. We collaborate closely with international TB biology experts and pharmaceutical companies to find new and improved treatments. Our lead programme has delivered a preclinical candidate in partnership with GSK with a further series in Lead Optimisation.

We also became an associated Partner in the European Innovative Medicines Initiative European Regimen Accelerator for Tuberculosis (ERA4TB) at its inception in 2020. This collaboration creates a world-class ‘platform’ that brings together the expertise, tools and resources needed to accelerate the development of anti-TB drug combinations.

  1. Hit Discovery
  2. Hit to Lead
  3. Lead Op.
  4. Candidate Sel.
KRS Series
MMV46 Series
Multiple Phenotypically Active Series
Novel Target-based Projects
Tubercolosis Drug Accelerator Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations


Our portfolio focusing on delivering new drugs for malaria, cryptosporidiosis and Schistosomiasis.

In a project funded by Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) we developed DDD498, a highly potent, oral, anti-malarial agent with the potential to be a single dose cure as well as block the transmission of the disease. This compound has completed first-in-human study and (blood-stage) volunteer infection study with MMV and Merck KGaA. The compound is now called Cabamiquine and about to enter Phase 2 clinical trials in combination with pyronaridine.

Our projects expand from hit identification to pre-candidate selection. We lead the Structure Drug Discovery Coalition (SDDC). The SDDC aims to apply structure-based drug design to deliver Early Lead series for malaria and TB. We have a project in lead optimisation for malaria in collaboration with Eisai and MMV and a more advanced project at the late lead profiling stage for cryptosporidiosis in collaboration with Prof. Chris Huston (University of Vermont) and Eisai. Our schistosomiasis project is a collaboration with Prof. Karl Hoffman (Aberystwyth University) and it is funded by Wellcome.

  1. Hit to Lead
  2. Lead Op.
  3. Pre-clinical
  4. Clinical
Malaria – Cabamiquine
Malaria – KRS105
Eisai GHIT Fund
Cryptosporidiosis – KRS inhibitors
Aberystwyth University Cardiff University Wellcome
Malaria – New Targets
SDDC Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations
MMV Wellcome Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations


The DDU was one of many organisation offered a rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are an Associated Partner in the European Innovative Medicines Initiative - Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe (CARE).

We are working with partner organisations to deliver new drugs designed specifically to treat COVID-19 and other coronaviruses.

  1. Hit Validation
  2. Hit to Lead
  3. Lead ID & Opt.
  4. Lead Op.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations CARE

Innovative Targets Portfolio

The Innovative Targets portfolio (ITP) encompasses high quality projects in any therapeutic area where there is a clinical unmet need. We seek to identify novel therapeutic targets and mechanism of disease with the aim of developing new, innovative treatments for a broad range of diseases. The output from this portfolio is data packages that describe partially de-risked novel drug targets, plus pharmacological lead compounds with supporting data in an animal and/or tissue model of disease.

We select our targets from a wealth of world-class academic research globally. Core funding allows us to take on projects which are traditionally perceived to be risky or difficult due to the unpredictable tractability of many targets, especially complex cell-based mechanisms.

  1. Hit Discovery
  2. Hit to Lead
  3. Lead Op.
Oncology- WRN
Beactica Therapeutics
Oncology - PKN2
Queen Mary University of London
Gut Motility
Queen Mary University of London
University of Cambridge Dakiyama 2021 Takeda Red DIGITAL USE dduwebsite4
University of Dundee Helmholtz Munich copy Centre Genomic Regulation
University of Dundee