About us

The PDE4NPD* project began on 1 March 2014, led by Principal Investigator Rob Leurs (VU Amsterdam). It has a budget of €7.6 million (from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme, FP7/2007-2013) and will run for four years.

Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) have been studied extensively as drug targets, and various lead series against trypanosomes have already been identified and optimized in a previous project, which was also managed by VU Amsterdam and the same Principal Investigator (Prof. Rob Leurs). 

The PDE4NPD consortium was established to further progress these VU Amsterdam lead series, and to re-iterate the hit-finding process in order to identify new inhibitors for a broader range of neglected tropical diseases (NPDs). VU Amsterdam has identified various companies and research groups that can collaborate closely and work towards achieving these goals. 

The consortium comprises two arms: 

Screening and optimization of hit and lead compounds

The consortium investigates the druggability of a broad range of parasite PDEs by screening compound libraries and performing phenotypic screening assays. In addition, the consortium optimizes validated lead compounds for use in clinical trials. 

Sustainable data sharing

Since the consortium will create more drug development opportunities than it can reasonably progress towards clinical development, there will be a strong focus on communication and data sharing. In order to accomplish this, an open innovation platform will be established that will enable other NPD initiatives to share and access data, and to discuss research opportunities.

Eight work packages have been developed, and assigned to various partners according to available expertise.


*  Parasite-specific cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase inhibitors to target neglected parasitic diseases