• Potential new anti-malarial drug identified at the Drug Discovery Unit, Dundee

  • "Something very special is taking place in Dundee........"

  • "We continually invest in technology, equipment and buildings......"

  • "Bridging the gap between academic scientific research and commerical drug discovery"

  • "Our team combines skills, experience and knowledge"

Welcome to the Drug Discovery Unit, Dundee


"Something very special is taking place in Dundee....a drug discovery unit has torn down disciplinary walls to put

chemists next to biologists, industry scientists beside academics. The result is a portfolio of promising new medicines for

malaria, trypanosomiasis, and other diseases.”

The Lancet, May 2012

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) is a fully operational, fully integrated drug discovery group working across multiple diseases based within a UK university.  Our multi-disciplinary teams work closely together in an integrated management structure, operating more like a biotech company than a traditional academic group.  Our initial remit was to develop new, more effective treatments for some of the world’s most neglected diseases.  Over the last seven years we have innovated and extended, and continue to expand both our remit and our partnerships across the academic, industrial and charitable sectors worldwide.  Today, we focus on tackling unmet medical need through small molecule drug discovery; collaborating with partners in Dundee and beyond to identify drug candidates, lead compounds, potential new drug targets and innovative tools and approaches across a wide range of debilitating and deadly diseases.

Our two areas of activity are Diseases of the Developing World and Innovative Targets & Pathways:

  • In Diseases of the Developing World we are targeting five major diseases: Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), Chagas disease, Visceral Leishmaniasis, Malaria and Tuberculosis
  • In Innovative Targets & Pathways we are collaborating with world-class life sciences researchers to develop new approaches to diseases of the developed world, including Cancer, Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Our goal is to partially validate innovative drug targets, investigate disease pathways and identify lead compounds to develop our understanding of the underpinning biology and establish proof of concept in preclinical models of disease.