NTD Drug Discovery Research Consortiums

Initiating collaborative drug-discovery research to discover new drugs for the treatment of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
Academia or research institute 4
Government 1
  • Collaborative drug-discovery research to discover new drugs for the treatment of NTDs.

What are the health needs and challenges?

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a serious healthcare issue being addressed on a global scale. NTDs are infections caused by parasites, bacteria and viruses which are mainly endemic in tropical areas of developing countries. It is estimated that over 1 billion people are affected worldwide by NTDs. Since these patients do not have enough access to needed medicine and healthcare, NTDs are not only a global health challenge but are said to be associated with poverty and affect economic growth in developing countries.

Partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Astellas has initiated collaborative drug-discovery research to discover new drugs for the treatment of NTDs. This joint research aims for drug discovery for anti-protozoan and anti-dengue virus drug candidates. One consortium for anti-protozoan drug is in collaboration with DNDi, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nagasaki University, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

The target of the research are NTDs caused by parasitic protozoans, such as  leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and Sleeping sickness, which are without effective medicines for treatment and require the development of new therapeutic drugs. The other consortium for anti-dengue virus is in collaboration with Tokyo Institute of Technology and Nagasaki University. Astellas provides selected compounds for the evaluation. In addition, the consortiums utilize structure-based drug discovery by using the consortium’s cutting-edge technologies, such as target discovery, information technology, and fragment evolution method.

Lessons learned

This partnership highlights the importance of open innovation and collaboration with industry, academia, governmental organizations and NGOs. Integrating knowledge, technologies, and expertise has provided added values for research efficiency and quality to the consortium. Increased awareness of the consortium’s activity is anticipated.  For example, the number of collaborative research proposals from third parties have increased.

Geographic Reach
  • Global Commitment
Disease Area
  • Infectious and Parasitic Disease
See Disease Areas
Target Population
  • Children
  • People with low incomes
Partner organizations
Academia or research institute

High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK)

Nagasaki University

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Tokyo University


National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan