An Industry Perspective on Dengue Drug Discovery and Development

  • Ilane Hernandez-Morales
  • Marnix Van Loock
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1062)


Dengue is the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in the world, representing a major unmet medical need and a growing public health concern. The disease imposes a heavy burden to the affected individuals, to the health care systems, and to the economies of endemic countries. Vector control is the most widespread tool to curb dengue epidemics, but has been insufficient. Therefore, additional means such as vaccines and antivirals are required to aid in a coordinated response. The discovery and development of small molecule dengue virus inhibitors as a tool to prevent and/or treat dengue disease faces major hurdles in combining pan-serotypic efficacy, safety, and optimal drug-like properties. Moreover, the financial return of dengue drug projects may not compensate for the initial investment in research and development. This review article addresses the efforts undertaken to face the dengue epidemics, focusing on antiviral drug development. The dengue drug research and development process is described in detail and a dengue antiviral target product profile is proposed. The article discusses collaborations between the different players in the research field: government and government-sponsored organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academia, and non-profit and philanthropic organizations. Public-private partnerships are proposed as a model to boost dengue research and development towards an approved antiviral drug in the near future.


Dengue antiviral drug development Global funding for dengue R&D Public-private partnerships 



dengue virus


Dengue Vaccine Initiative


private public partnership


Research and Development


Structure Relationship Activity


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilane Hernandez-Morales
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marnix Van Loock
    • 3
  1. 1.Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & JohnsonBeerseBelgium
  2. 2.Laboratory of Virology and Chemotherapy, Rega Institute for Medical ResearchUniversity of Leuven (KU Leuven)LeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Janssen Research & Development, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & JohnsonBeerseBelgium

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