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In vitro and hamster studies suggest new classes of quinazolinone analogs could help treat leishmaniasis. Chemical synthesis and in vitro testing identified multiple lead compounds, including two quinazolinone-triazine hybrids and a quinazolinone peptide. Those molecules inhibited replication of Leishmania donovani with IC50 values in the low micromolar or high nanomolar range. In a hamster model for leishmaniasis, selected lead compounds inhibited L. donovani replication by over 50% without causing observable toxicity. Future studies could include optimizing the lead compounds.

SciBX 6(19); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.470
Published online May 16, 2013

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Sharma, M. et al. J. Med. Chem.; published online April 23, 2013;
Contact: Prem M.S. Chauhan, CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India