Dr Bernard Pécoul is the Founder and Executive Director of the international not-for-profit medical research organization, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). Dr Bernard Pécoul has led DNDi since its formation in 2003. When the medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, it dedicated a portion of its prize award to exploring an innovative, alternative, not-for-profit model for developing drugs for hundreds of millions of neglected patients worldwide. DNDi was born. Its founding partners included MSF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and a group of five international public health institutions – the Malaysian Ministry of Health among them.
Under Dr Pécoul’s leadership, DNDi has delivered eight new treatments for leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, and Chagas disease – some of the world’s most neglected diseases – as well as for malaria and for children living with HIV. Working in partnership with hundreds of public and private actors around the world, the organization has developed a robust portfolio of projects spanning drug discovery, clinical research, and treatment access for these diseases, as well as for river blindness, mycetoma, and hepatitis C. Together with WHO, DNDi also launched the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) in 2016, now an independent not-for-profit organization developing new treatments to fight drug-resistant infections that pose the greatest threat to health.