Thirty-five thousand people die every day from AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other major infectious diseases, which disproportionately affect the poor in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Although patients with HIV/AIDS have benefited significantly from medical and scientific innovation over the past twenty-five years, new treatments are developed mainly in industrialised countries and for rich patients. The benefits of these life-changing medical advances have yet to filter down to poorer countries. As for the rest, few new medicines exist to tackle infectious diseases that continue to kill millions yet which in some cases are hardly known in the West. This article presses the case for research on neglected diseases, and gives an overview of the DNDi programme.