iNTRODB (Integrated Neglected TROpical disease DataBase)

Partnership objective

To assist with the drug discovery research for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

The iNTRODB is a collaborative research project between six institutes in Japan and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi). The iNTRODB is a collaborative research project between six institutes in Japan and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi). Copyright Astellas

What are the health needs and challenges?

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of tropical infections caused by virus, bacteria or parasites that are especially endemic in low-income populations in developing countries. It is estimated that more than 1 billion people are affected by NTDs.

Globally, there are an estimated 12 million patients affected by leishmaniasis, 8 million affected by Chagas disease and 300,000 patients living with human African trypanosomiasis for which there are no effective treatments. 

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The iNTRODB was created as a part of the collaborative research between six institutes in Japan and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), a non-profit drug research and development organization. It is the world’s first integrated database for NTDs Drug-discovery research.

This drug-discovery research targets four NTDs: leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), which are in most need for effective new medicines among NTDs, and dengue fever which has high unmet medical needs. 

The iNTRODB includes information on all protein-coding genes in genomes of three trypanosome species which cause Leishmaniasis, Chagas' disease and African trypanosomiasis. It helps researchers to identify and choose promising drug target proteins by providing various information including protein structure, potential inhibitors, and experimental assay results. Every researcher can freely use this database and therefore the iNTRODB can accelerate drug discovery research for NTDs across the world.

The database has been built on the basis of the supercomputers and expertise in information technology at Tokyo Tech, the genetic and biological data and knowledge about protozoa at the University of Tokyo, and the knowledge and expertise on drug discovery and research at Astellas.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

iNTRODB is highly regarded as an example of how close cooperation among Japanese research institutes and international NPOs can contribute to solving problems on a global scale, and it received the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Award of the 11th annual Merit Awards for Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration in August 2013.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Astellas

Partner(s) Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), High Energy Accelerator Reserach Organization (KEK), Nagasaki University, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo University

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, PDPs

Therapeutic Focus Neglected Tropical Diseases

Disease(s) Chagas Disease, Dengue, Human African Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness), Leishmaniasis


Start Date 2012

More information The NTDs Drug-discovery Research Consortium

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« Adding a variety of information on genes, proteins, and compounds has made it easier to obtain the information necessary to judge whether a drug target candidate is a good one or not. »

Dr. Takashi Ishida, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology