Hit and lead criteria in drug discovery for infectious diseases of the developing world

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2015 Nov;14(11):751-8. doi: 10.1038/nrd4683. Epub 2015 Oct 5.


Reducing the burden of infectious diseases that affect people in the developing world requires sustained collaborative drug discovery efforts. The quality of the chemical starting points for such projects is a key factor in improving the likelihood of clinical success, and so it is important to set clear go/no-go criteria for the progression of hit and lead compounds. With this in mind, the Japanese Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund convened with experts from the Medicines for Malaria Venture, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative and the TB Alliance, together with representatives from the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation, to set disease-specific criteria for hits and leads for malaria, tuberculosis, visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Here, we present the agreed criteria and discuss the underlying rationale.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases / drug therapy
  • Communicable Diseases / economics
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Developing Countries* / economics
  • Drug Discovery / economics
  • Drug Discovery / trends*
  • Drugs, Generic / economics
  • Drugs, Generic / therapeutic use
  • Foundations / economics
  • Foundations / trends*
  • Humans
  • Malaria / drug therapy*
  • Malaria / economics
  • Malaria / epidemiology
  • Neglected Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Neglected Diseases / economics
  • Neglected Diseases / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy*
  • Tuberculosis / economics
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology


  • Drugs, Generic